Old Primates and Ebola and H.I.V.

Thought occurs to me. If one accepts the idea of Pangaea- a single continent that was slowly broken up into the world as we now know it- then would the following thought have any logic to it at all? It occurred to me yesterday in the car.

The kind of viruses that come out of Sub-Saharan Africa are unique. Ebola, Marburgh, H.I.V., S.I.V and so on. A colleague commented on something in an email to me the other day. He’s from the Netherlands, and was working in Africa for a few weeks. Upon his return, he got the flu. Or, contracted it there and came home incubating ( more likely ). He’s fine, just worn out. He remarked upon the shocking shift in climate and environment, and how his body just ’ couldn’t adjust well to getting home, and so I got the flu’.

Here’s where I’m going with all of this. Is there a corellation between the believed ‘age’ of primate development in Africa, and the emerging patterns of viruses such as the ones named above? Can it be that any part of the animal kingdom, as it goes through enough generations of development, is going to have viral and bacteriological occurences that might not have developed with species with less millions of years under their belt?

Is the timeline so short, that primates in Sub-Saharan Africa are virtually the same as primates in Sub-Asia, and other parts of the world as to make this idea or theory total bunk? Is there something about being the oldest grouping of an animal species that allows for the emergence of such situations, disease-wise?

I’m no expert, that’s why I’m aksing. I did read the book The Hot Zone, and remember lengthy passages about a certain mountain, a certain cave where these viruses were tracked back to, but no definitive proof was offered or found showing that somehow, these viruses ( or, any diseases ) could be traced to an environment, opposed to a group of hosts.

How does it work? Is it coincidence that these diseases have emerged from the locales that they have seemed to? Can it be something about the long-term developmental age of the animal groups in that area, that have facilitated the spread of the disease into the general population of primates there?

Without waiting a few more million years, is there a way to predict if other species in other parts of the world will eventually be a part of emergence of disease on that scale of severity?

Is there something about the DNA of THOSE primates, in THAT part of the world, that makes these catastrophically serious viruses happy?

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