Can I get flu from a mountain gorilla?
Can I get flu from a mountain gorilla? Mountain gorilla trekking is one of the most adventurous tourist activities in East Africa. The activity that is done in Rwanda and Uganda is done whole year-round in both countries attracts over 10,000 visitors to the different mountain gorilla parks to just have a chance to spend an hour with these mountain gorillas.
The mountain gorillas share almost 98% DNA with the humans and so it’s not rare that humans can spread a communicable disease to the mountain gorillas, however, what is not known is if a human can get the flu or any other disease from the mountain gorillas.
Well, it’s possible for a human to get a flu or a communicable disease from a mountain gorilla as it is possible for a mountain gorilla to get the flu or communicable disease from a human. It’s for this reason that mountain gorilla trekking rules are there to protect both the trekker and the mountain gorilla from spreading diseases to each other.
So below we highlight some of the mountain gorilla trekking rules that you should keep while on your mountain gorilla trekking experience:-
- You will not go for the mountain gorilla trekking experience when you are ill or you have a communicable disease. This will stop you from spreading the disease to the mountain gorillas and also you getting a mutation of the disease.
- In the presence of the mountain gorillas you should always keep a distance of 7 meters between you and the mountain gorillas. This distance is safe space to avoid disease spread and to also keep the mountain gorillas at ease.
- When in the presence of the mountain gorillas you should also keep you voices at a low tone as much as possible. The noise can irritate the mountain gorillas and cause them to charge at you or disappear into the forest.
- Do not cough or sneeze when you’re in the presence of the mountain gorillas, this will help reduce disease particles from flying out into the air. If you must cough or sneeze please cover your mouth and nose.
- You should not eat, drink or smoke in the presence of the mountain gorillas. This is also a way of avoid disease transmissions through food droplets in the forest. Also the eating or drinking can attract the attention of mountain gorillas to you and they may become unruly.
- Be more careful with your non- verbal gestures like pointing of hands or waving; these gestures may signal something different to the gorillas causing an unlikely response.
- Do not attempt to touch the mountain gorillas even they come next to you; touching them will increase your chances of catching a disease from them and them catching a disease from you.
- If unfortunately a mountain gorillas charge at you, please don’t panic and don’t show fear, stand still and follow the mountain gorilla ranger’s directions and wait for the mountain gorillas to pass.
- Also do not stare at the mountain gorillas in the eyes direct, they will get irritated and charge at you.
- When taking photos of the mountain gorillas you should not use flash photography because the flash light will irritate the gorillas and cause them to charge at you or disappear.
- Do not violate the mountain gorilla trekking time of one hour in the presence of the mountain gorillas. more time than one hour in the presence of the mountain gorillas will cause them to be irritated and they will either charge at you or disappear in the forest
- It’s the Covid19 season so you should also follow the Covid19 standard preventive measures while on the mountain gorilla trekking experience. These Covid19 rules include wearing your mask when in the presence of the mountain gorillas, washing your hands with soap and water or sanitising your hands and keep a social distance between you and the other trekkers.
These are some of the rules that you have to follow while on your mountain gorilla trekking experience and it’s important that respect all these rules while on the trekking experience to avoid disease transmission between you and the mountain gorillas and to maintain the conservation of the mountain gorillas.