Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Wild Monkeys are spreading Herpes to people, researchers alert

Wild Monkeys are spreading Herpes to people, researchers alert

Researchers contemplating a developing populace of rhesus macaques in Silver Springs State Park say that instead of simply conveying herpes B, which is regular in the species, a portion of the monkeys have the infection in their spit and other organic liquids, representing a potential danger of spreading the illness.

Macaques were introduced to Florida's Silver Springs State Park as a tourist attraction nearly 100 years ago.

Now almost 30% of the monkeys roaming the park are excreting the herpes B virus through saliva and other body fluids.

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.

Nonetheless, it's rather rare and possibly lethal in people. While it is common among macaques, the study, which was published in the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, claims the virus can be transmitted to humans and poses several health risks.

"When it does occur, it can result in severe brain damage or death if the patient is not treated immediately", said a spokesperson for the CDC. As such, that this pathogen needs to be considered a low-incidence, high-consequence hazard, and adequate general health steps should be taken, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission didn't enter particulars about strategies. All infected people were infected by contact with monkeys in labs.

Roaming monkeys in Florida are being removed by the state's wildlife managers because of the growing fear that they are excreting a virus that can be unsafe to humans.

As a result, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has said it plans to remove the monkeys, which are native to South and Central Asia, from the park. "This can be done in a variety of ways", spokeswoman Carli Segelson said in an email. They have been spotted in trees in the Ocala, Sarasota and Tallahassee areas, The Guardian reports.

About 175 free-roaming rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) inhabit the park, descended from a population of around a dozen animals that were released in the 1930s to promote local tourism.

More than two dozen monkeys eventually appeared in trees on the riverbank.

The presence of the virus in the monkeys' feces and saliva presents issues for park workers and visitors, who could be endangered if bitten or scratched.

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