Roaming Florida monkeys excrete virus that can kill you, study finds

Henrietta Strickland
January 13, 2018

The discoveries imparted in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, evoked the researchers from the University of Florida and Washington to alert the Florida's wildlife agency that the contaminated monkeys should be contemplated as a public health worry.

Scientists who have been studying the increasing rhesus macaque population in the Silver Springs State Park claimed that the monkeys do not just carry herpes B, a common trait among the species.

To date, only 50 cases of herpes B have been documented in humans in the US since the disease was first identified in 1932, and numerous infections resulted from animal scratches or bites, according to the CDC.

The issue has actually not yet been fully studied.

Human instances if the virus has been unusual with around 50 registered around the globe and there have been no cases of the virus being spread to humans in from wild rhesus macaques in Florida or elsewhere.

The analysts appraise that up to 30% of the scores of Florida's wild macaques might be now discharging the infection. All infected people were infected by contact with monkeys in labs. "This can be done in a variety of ways", spokeswoman Carli Segelson said in an email.

Human visitors to the park are most likely to be exposed to the disease, and any contact with the monkeys' saliva, urine, or feces could lead to contraction.

CC BY 2.0  Eden Janine and Jim  Monkey Ultimate Meme This Monkey Getting a Haircut Can Be
CC BY 2.0 Eden Janine and Jim Monkey Ultimate Meme This Monkey Getting a Haircut Can Be

Wiley said the researchers are interested in seeing the virulency of the pathogens. "It will be important to figure out whether underreporting, low quantities, or low transmissibility would explain why infections in tourists have not been reported".

Now almost 30% of the monkeys roaming the park are excreting the herpes B virus through saliva and other body fluids. "Monkey, monkey, monkey!" he cried.

Minutes later another troop was running along the opposite riverbank.

The rhesus macaque is native to Asia, but were brought to Florida in the 1930s in an attempt to boost tourism during the height of the popularity of Tarzan movies.

"They didn't know monkeys could swim", O'Lenick said.

Previous studies of the Silver Springs Park rhesus populations had identified herpes B in the animals, according to a study published in May 2016 by the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).

Florida is anxious about monkeys. They draw people to the state's parks and have become notorious for their interactions with humans. The paper recommends that Florida wildlife managers consider the virus in future policy decisions.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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