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Monkey B Virus

Date: 21 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous


The first human transmission and subsequent death due to Monkey B Virus was reported in China.



The victim is a veterinarian and was likely to be infected when he had dissected dead monkeys in March.



  • The death took place in late May. The symptoms indicated the infection, which was confirmed after his cerebral fluid was examined.

  • There is no instance of previous infection from monkeys to humans. This officially marks the first instance in the country.

  • The Monkey B Virus was first discovered in 1932. Till now, only about 50 cases of the infection have been recorded. About 21 have already died.


Monkey B Virus

Monkey B Virus is a form of herpes virus that is usually found in macaques of the genus Macaca. It shows serious pathogenicity in humans.



  • The virus is transmitted from primates to humans through direct contact with body organs, fluids or tissues. It has a fatality rate of 70 per cent to 80 per cent.

  • The virus can also be transmitted between humans by coming in direct contact with their bodily fluids such as saliva, blood or semen.



  • Symptoms start appearing about one month after the infection. Initially it shows flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, chills, fatigue, muscle aches etc.

  • Other problems such as rashes, nausea, hiccups, vomiting, abdominal pains and breathlessness are also common.

  • Severe symptoms that can occur include brain inflammation, spinal cord infection, paralysis and later an extremely painful death.



There are currently no vaccines against the virus as the cases are very rare. There needs to be more focus on avoiding contact with infected primates.

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