Roaming Florida monkeys excrete virus that can kill you, study finds

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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.

Feral rhesus macaque monkeys in a Florida state park carry a herpes simplex virus which may be harmful to humans, as per a different study.

Herpes B in humans in rare: only 50 cases have been registered worldwide and transmissions of the virus have never knowingly happened in the wild. She said the issue is one her team wants to continue to study on a genomic basis.

State wildlife officials say they're taking this problem seriously, after a report from the centers for disease control.

Eason would not elaborate on what specific management tactics the state may employ, but a spokeswoman said the commission supports ridding the state of the invasive creatures. "This can be done in a variety of ways", another spokesperson for the commission said.

Samantha Wisely, a researcher at the University of Florida had been studying this non-native group of monkeys since 2015. All infected people were infected by contact with monkeys in labs.

But in humans, infection with herpes B can lead to severe brain damage or death, with 70 percent of untreated patients killed by complications from infection.

As many as 30 percent of the feral monkeys that are living in Florida are said to be infected with the unsafe herpes strain.

The findings suggest a public health concern, said David Civitello, an Emory University biology professor who was not involved in the study.

Wiley said the researchers are interested in seeing the virulency of the pathogens. "It will be important to figure out whether underreporting, low quantities, or low transmissibility would explain why infections in tourists have not been reported". Instead, the monkeys also carry the virus in the saliva and other bodily fluids, which may spread the disease to humans. This proves risky, as the virus is carried in their saliva and faeces. Humans feeding the monkeys is a common activity along the Silver River. "Monkey, monkey, monkey!" he cried. Within minutes, curious kayakers and other boat tour operators pulled close to shore for a better look and to snap photos.

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.

But there was human error in that plan.

There are more than 200 rhesus macaque monkeys throughout Silver Springs State Park in Marion County since there first arrival to the area since the mid 1930's for a movie shoot. They draw people to the state's parks and have become notorious for their interactions with humans.

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