Man in China Dies of Rare Monkey B Virus

The virus most commonly infects monkeys and apes.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA — A man who worked as a veterinarian in China died after contracting a very rare viral infection. It is known, this virus first infected monkeys.

This is the first human case of being infected with the virus experienced by monkeys, otherwise known as Monkey B virus. Doctors who have been infected with this virus are known to have specialized in experimental research on non-human primates.

In early March, the doctor performed surgery on two dead monkeys. Within a month of it, he began to experience fever, nausea, vomiting, and neurological symptoms.

The doctor was hospitalized, but died on May 27. The 53-year-old man was diagnosed with the Monkey B virus.

The virus most commonly infects monkeys and apes. Previously, there were rarely reports that humans had Monkey B infection.

There are only 50 cases recorded virus Monkey B reported in humans since its discovery in 1932. However, when the virus jumped from monkeys to humans, it became lethal.

The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says of the 50 people infected with Monkey B in 1932, 21 had died. Most cases in humans occur in people who work with monkeys, such as veterinarians or researchers.

Once the virus jumps to humans, it doesn’t spread easily between people. There has only been one reported case of Monkey B virus infection in humans spreading to other people.

Meanwhile, the study compared the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes infection with the COVID-19 disease. The virus is also thought to have emerged from a zoonotic source, meaning it passed from animals to humans.

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“But for the Monkey B virus, humans are a dead end. It does not jump from one human to another, “he said

Nikolaus Osterrieder, dekan Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences di Hong Kong, dilansir Live Science, Tuesday (20/7).

However, Chinese health officials say the new report suggests that the Monkey B virus may pose a potential zoonotic threat to people who work with monkeys. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen supervision of laboratory apes and workers there.

Please note, Monkey B virus is different from monkeypox virus. Monkey B virus belongs to a family of viruses called herpes viruses.

The same family that includes human herpes simplex 1, which usually causes cold sores, and herpes simplex 2, which causes genital herpes. Monkeypox virus, on the other hand, belongs to a family of viruses called orthopoxviruses, and is related to the virus that causes smallpox in humans.


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