Florida monkeys can be a cause of herpes for you

Enlarge  Rhesus Macaques in a tree Getty | India

As such, "this pathogen should be considered a low-incidence, high-consequence risk, and adequate public health measures should be taken". In 2015, about 175 macaques were living in Silver Springs State Park. A study released Wednesday (10 January) claims that their body fluids, including saliva and faeces, contain a deadly virus that is risky to man, reports the AP.

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 risky to humans.

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.

"Without management action, the presence and continued expansion of non-native rhesus macaques in Florida can result in serious human health and safety risks including human injury and transmission of disease", Thomas Eason, assistant executive director of the commission, said in a statement.

While herpes B is relatively common - and asymptomatic - among macaques and other animals, it's exceedingly rare - and severe - in humans.

McHV-1, which is also known as herpes B or monkey B virus, is carried by several species of macaque monkeys, which are thought to be a "natural host" for the virus, according to the CDC.

Monkeys living in Silver Springs made headlines past year, when they chased and hissed at a family visiting the popular public park.

Monkeys have also been spotted in Apopka, Fruitland Park and even in Pasco County.

In humans, the virus causes a devastating brain disease that, if left untreated, is deadly about 70 percent of the time. On a chilly day in November, Capt. Tom O'Lenick, who has navigated the Silver River for 35 years, hollered from his charter boat into the dense surrounding forest.

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

The weird thing is that the reported cases of herpes B are mainly in lab workers or veterinarians who caught the virus from a bite or exposure to infected bodily fluids at work.

Samantha Wisely, a University of Florida disease ecologist and one of the study's authors, said whether the monkeys pose a significant public health threat is still unknown. While there are no official details on monkey assaults on people in the recreation center, a state-supported examination in the 1990s discovered 31 monkey-human occurrences, with 23 bringing about human damage in the vicinity of 1977 and 1984. The paper recommends that Florida wildlife managers consider the virus in future policy decisions.

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