January 15, 2012
For some of the Washington area’s African residents, the meat is a taste of home, a treat for the holidays and reunions.
“It’s a delicacy, for special occasions,” said Sambourou Diop, a Gabonese national living in the region, who sampled bush meat in his West African homeland but has not eaten it here.
For the nation’s disease detectives, though, bloody bags of wild meat could mean big trouble. They’re worried about exotic viruses causing a deadly outbreak — or, in the worst case, an AIDS-like pandemic.
That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched an expanded effort to test confiscated bush meat for potentially dangerous viruses after a two-year pilot study.