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China Reports First B Virus Deaths

China has reported the first human infection death with Monkey B Virus, confirmed a Beijing-based vet on Saturday. The 53-year-old male vet, who works for an institution researching non-human primates, showed early-onset symptoms of nausea and vomiting.After a month he dissected two dead monkeys in early March, reported Global Times citing the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, his family members are reportedly safe from the virus. The vet sought treatment in several hospitals and eventually died on May 27.

It further stated that there were no fatal or even clinically evident BV infections in China before, thus the vet’s case marks the first human infection case with B Virus identified in China. Researchers have collected the cerebrospinal fluid of the veterinarian in April and identified him as positive for BV, yet samples of his close contacts suggested negative results for the virus.

The publication further reported that the virus, initially isolated in 1932, is an alphaherpesvirus enzootic in macaques of the genus Macaca. It can be transmitted via direct contact and exchange of bodily secretions and has a fatality rate of 70% to 80%The journal suggested that B Virus in monkeys might pose a potential threat to occupational workers. It is necessary to eliminate B Virus during the development of specific pathogen-free rhesus colonies and to strengthen surveillance in laboratory macaques and occupational workers in China.

B Virus infections are rare among humans though many monkey bites are reported every year. Symptoms of this virus are similar to flu virus infections that include fever, chills, muscle ache, fatigue, and headache. Some of the other symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, and hiccups and when they had contact with a monkey, small blisters will develop in the wound area.

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