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Monkey B Virus

  • 20 Jul 2021
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Recently, China has reported the first human infection case with Monkey B virus (BV).

Key Points

  • About:
    • Monkey B virus is an alphaherpesvirus enzootic (endemic) in macaques and it was initially isolated in 1932.
      • Alphaherpesviruses are pathogens or neuroinvasive viruses that establish lifelong infections in the peripheral nervous system of humans and many other vertebrates.
    • B virus is also commonly referred to as herpes B, herpesvirus simiae, and herpesvirus B.
    • B virus can survive for hours on surfaces, particularly when moist.
  • Transmission:
    • The infection can be transmitted via direct contact and exchange of bodily secretions of monkeys and has a fatality rate of 70% to 80%.
    • Human-to-human Transmission: Till date, only one case has been documented of an infected person spreading B virus to another person.
  • Symptoms:
    • The first indications of B virus infection are typically flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills, muscle ache, fatigue and headache, following which an infected person may develop small blisters in the wound or area on the body that came in contact with the monkey.
    • In the later stage, the virus can lead to the loss of muscle coordination and neurological damage.
  • Treatment:
    • Currently, there are no vaccines that can protect against B virus infection.
    • Timely antiviral medications could help in reducing the risk to life.

Source: IE

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