From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Monkey B Virus
Mains level : Zoonotic Diseases
China has reported the first human death case with the Monkey B virus (BV).
What is Monkey B virus?
- The virus, initially isolated in 1932, is an alphaherpesvirus enzootic in macaques of the genus Macaca.
- B virus is the only identified old-world-monkey herpes virus that displays severe pathogenicity in humans.
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How is it transmitted?
- The infection can be transmitted via direct contact and exchange of bodily secretions of monkeys and has a fatality rate of 70 per cent to 80 per cent.
- According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Macaque monkeys commonly have this virus, and it can be found in their saliva, feces, urine, or brain or spinal cord tissue.
- The virus may also be found in cells coming from an infected monkey in a lab. B virus can survive for hours on surfaces, particularly when moist.
When can a human get infected with B virus?
- Humans can get infected if they are bitten or scratched by an infected monkey.
- Symptoms typically start within one month of being exposed to B virus but could appear in as little as three to seven days.
- The first indications of B virus infection are typically flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills, muscle ache, fatigue and headache.
- Following this, a person may develop small blisters in the wound or area on the body that came in contact with the monkey.
- Some other symptoms of the infection include shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and hiccups.
- As the disease progresses, the virus spreads to and causes inflammation (swelling) of the brain and spinal cord, leading to neurologic and inflammatory symptoms.
Is there a vaccine against B virus?
- Currently, there are no vaccines that can protect against B virus infection.
Who are at higher risk for infection?
- The virus might pose a potential threat to laboratory workers, veterinarians, and others who may be exposed to monkeys or their specimens.
- To date, only one case has been documented of an infected person spreading the B virus to another person.