First human case of monkey B virus infection in China

In April, a human case of infection with the monkey B virus (BV) was confirmed in China for the first time. The veterinarian from Beijing died of the infection at the end of May after several treatments.

A Beijing-based veterinarian was confirmed as China’s first human case of monkey B virus (BV) infection and subsequently died from the virus. However, his close contacts are safe from that for the time being.

The 53-year-old veterinarian, who works for an institution doing research on non-human primates, showed early onset symptoms of nausea and vomiting – a month after dissecting two dead monkeys in early March, according to the English platform of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and prevention (“China CDC Weekly“) Announced on Saturday.

The vet was subsequently treated at several hospitals and eventually died on May 27, reported CDC Weekly. Previously, there had been neither fatal nor clinically obvious BV infections in China, which is why this marks the first human BV infection case identified in China.

Researchers took the vet’s CSF fluid in April and identified him as positive for BV, but samples from his close contacts showed negative results for the virus.

The virus, which was originally isolated in 1932, is an alpha herpes virus that is enzootic in macaques of the genus Macaca. It can be transmitted through direct contact and exchange of body secretions and has a death rate of 70 to 80 percent.

In the CDC Weekly it said BV in monkeys could pose a potential hazard to those working in the area. It is therefore necessary to eliminate BV in the development of specific pathogen-free rhesus colonies and to strengthen control of laboratory macaques and workers in China.


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