China reported the first human infection death with Monkey B virus on Saturday. A 53-year-old male vet, who worked for an institution researching on non-human primates, showed early-onset symptoms of nausea and vomiting, a month after he dissected two dead monkeys in early March, reported Global Times. The vet had sought treatment in several hospitals and eventually died on May 27.
Here is a lowdown on what is the virus and what are its symptoms:
Does this virus have a history?
The first case of B virus infection was reported in 1933 when a laboratory worker was accidentally bitten by a monkey and later recovered from the bite. But, he fell ill of febrile disease with progressive symptoms of ascending myelitis and died 15 days after the first symptoms of involvement of the central nervous system (CNS).
How is it transmitted?
It can be transmitted via direct contact and exchange of bodily secretions. Following the exposures involving macaques B virus infection in 1933, more than two dozen human deaths were reported and five of those in the last 12 years. Most of these people got infected after they were bitten or scratched by a monkey, or when tissue or fluids from a monkey got on their broken skin, such as by needle stick or cut.
How dangerous is the virus?
According to a report published in the US National Library of Medicine, BV has a propensity to invade the central nervous system when transmitted to humans. It has a fatality rate of 70-80 per cent.
What are its symptoms?
The initial symptoms usually develop around 1-3 weeks after exposure to the virus. Symptoms of this virus are similar to flu virus infections that include fever, chills, muscle ache, fatigue, and headache.
Is there a population particularly at risk?
Researchers have opined that occupational workers are particularly at risk.
Does it have the potential to cause another pandemic?
Research on the virus suggests that it is difficult to be transmitted from one human to another thus making less potent when compared to the scale of a global pandemic.