China reported the first Monkey B Virus death in its history on July 16. The person, who was identified as a Beijing veterinarian, was infected by monkeys in March and died on May 27.
According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention's English periodical, the "China CDC Weekly," the Monkey B virus (BV), also known as Herpes B virus, has a fatality rate of 70 to 80 percent. According to the report, the deceased's close contacts were tested in April and found to be virus-free.
Humans are commonly infected with BV when bitten or scratched by an infected macaque monkey, or when they come into contact with a macaque's eyes, nose, or mouth, according to the US CDC. Only one case of BV human-to-human transmission has been documented in history, according to the CDC.
When the sufferer caught the virus, it's unclear which type of monkey he was in touch with.
China's First Death
The veterinary was 53 years old when he died. In Beijing, he worked for a nonhuman primate breeding and research facility.
The veterinarian dissected two dead monkeys on March 4 and 6. According to the report, the veterinarian "experienced nausea and vomiting followed by fever with neurological symptoms" one month after the dissections.
The veterinarian was sent to numerous clinics for treatment because specialists in Beijing had little experience with BV infections. He was not diagnosed until April 17, when doctors took his CSF fluid and that of his two coworkers to test for monkey-related viruses.
The veterinarian was afflicted with BV, according to the results.
“This implied that BV in monkeys might pose a potential zoonotic threat to occupational workers,” a group of experts from China CDC and Capital Medical University stated in their paper.
BV infections begin with flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills, muscle pains, lethargy, and headaches, according to the CDC. Symptoms usually appear one month following contact with a BV-infected monkey.
The first human infection was discovered in 1932, and only 50 cases of human transmission have been documented since then. The majority of people who died had come into contact with a monkey.