A Beijing-based veterinarian, confirmed as China’s first human infection case with Monkey B Virus (BV), has died from the infection, said a Global Times report.
The 53-year-old male vet, who works for an institution researching on non-human primates, was identified with the infection following early-onset symptoms of nausea and vomiting, a month after he dissected two dead monkeys in early March, China CDC Weekly English Platform, a journal of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention had revealed on Saturday.
The journal said that the vet died on May 27, after seeking treatment in several hospitals.
According to the report, since there were reportedly no fatal or even clinically evident BV infections in China before, the vet’s case marks the first human infection case with BV identified in the country.
Although samples of the veterinarian’s cerebrospinal fluid collected by researchers in April tested positive for BV, all of his close contacts were said to have tested negative.
The virus, initially isolated in 1932, is an alphaherpesvirus enzootic in macaques of the genus Macaca. It can be transmitted via direct contact and exchange of bodily secretions; and has a fatality rate of 70 percent to 80 percent, the report said.
The journal suggested that BV in monkeys might pose a potential threat to occupational workers. It is necessary to eliminate BV during the development of specific pathogen-free rhesus colonies and to strengthen surveillance in laboratory macaques and occupational workers in China.