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First human death due to monkey B virus reported in China

First human death due to monkey B virus reported in China

Posted July. 19, 2021 07:28,   

Updated July. 19, 2021 07:28


Patients of rare viral infections transmitted from the monkey have been reported in China and the U.S. in succession.

According to China’s state-run Global Times on Saturday, a 53-year-old veterinarian who was working at a primate laboratory in Beijing died on May 27 while taking treatment for “monkey B virus.” The veterinarian was infected with the virus while dissecting two dead monkeys in March this year. He then came down with symptoms including nausea and vomiting beginning one month later. The Global Times said it is the first case of human infection with the animal virus in China. There are reportedly no additional infections among people who came into contact with the veterinarian.

The monkey B virus is a type of the herpes virus. A person can be infected with the virus if he or she is bitten or mauled by the infected monkey, or when secretion from the monkey is splattered onto human mucous membrane such as an eye. The virus can transmit between humans, with a case fatality rate reaching as high as 70 to 80 percent.

Meanwhile The Washington Post reported Friday a person was infected with the monkeypox, a rare infectious disease in Dallas, Texas in the U.S. The health authority of the Dallas County said the Dallas resident who had visited Nigeria was confirmed as a patient infected with the virus.

The patient took a Delta Airline flight in Lagos, Nigeria on July 8 and arrived in Dallas on July 9 via Atlanta. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking and contacting people who came into contact with the patient inflight. “Due to mandatory mask requirement for the prevention of Covid-19, there is little chance that the virus has spread to other people through droplets,” the Dallas County health authority said.

Jong-Yeob JO jjj@donga.com