China Reports First Death From Monkey B Virus
China reported its first death due to Monkey B Virus. The Beijing-based vet was also the country’s first human infection case with Monkey B Virus (BV).
He died from the virus, reported The Global Times. The 53-year-old male vet worked for an institution researching non-human primates. His family members are reportedly safe from the virus.
According to the Chinese tabloid, the vet dissected two dead monkeys in March this year, and after a month, he showed symptoms of the virus.
He complained of nausea and vomiting. The information in this regard was revealed by China’s CDC Weekly English Platform of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday.
The vet sought treatment for the virus in several hospitals. However, he breathed his last on May 27, 2021. Prior to his case, there was no fatality due to the Monkey B Virus.
In April, researchers had collected the veterinarian’s cerebrospinal fluid and found out that he was positive for the virus. Meanwhile, all his family members were tested negative for the Monkey B virus.
Notably, the virus was first detected in 1931. It is an alphaherpesvirus enzootic found in macaque monkeys of the genus Macaca.
The Monkey B virus can be spread through direct contact with the infected money or via the exchange of bodily secretions.
The fatality rate of the virus is close to 50 percent. Since the identification of the virus in 1932, there have been 50 documented cases of human B virus infection.
The Monkey BV is caused by macaques, a genus of Old World monkeys that serve as the natural host. While the virus is transmitted by macaques, chimpanzees and capuchin monkeys can also become infected and die. B virus is also commonly referred to as herpes B, monkey B virus, herpesvirus simiae, and herpesvirus B.
United States’ Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has said that B Virus infections in people were rare and since its first detection in 1932, it has infected just 50 people. Only 21 of them died.
The virus is found in saliva, faeces, urine, brain, or spinal cord tissue of macaques, which can survive for hours on surfaces, particularly when moist.
While the risk of common people getting infected by the virus is low, it is high among laboratory workers, veterinarians, and others who may be exposed to monkeys or their specimens.