After the COVID-19 virus, there seems to be a new virus surfacing in China called the Monkey B Virus. A 53-year-old male veterinarian in Beijing was the first to have contracted the virus and to have died. He got the virus when he was performing experimental research and dissecting two dead monkeys back in March, which resulted in his death in May.
After experiencing symptoms like nausea and vomiting, he tried to get himself treated at various hospitals. However, in his case, his body couldn’t, unfortunately, fight the virus. This news is concerning, especially with the COVID-19 virus still causing a major disruption in the economic systems and everyday lives of many people all over the world. So what exactly do we know about this virus, and what can be done about it?
The Monkey B Virus comes from a particular type of monkey called the Macaque monkey. This virus is commonly found in the macaque monkey’s saliva, urine, feces, or brain or spinal cord tissue. Human beings can get this virus if they are attacked by a monkey carrying this virus. This virus is essentially a form of herpes that is found in these monkeys. It might be classified as a zoonotic threat.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the person who gets the virus will start exhibiting symptoms anywhere between three to seven days or within 30 days. Some symptoms are common with the COVID-19 virus, such as fevers, chills, shortness of breath, headache, nausea or vomiting. Other symptoms include abdominal pain, muscle ache and hiccups as well. If left unchecked or untreated, the infection will progress and cause brain damage or death.
So, if you are wondering if this virus is transmissible among human beings, the answer to that is yes. So far, there has been the only case of this infection spreading from one person to another. The CDC has even stated that it is ‘extremely rare’ for humans to be infected with the virus.
Currently, as per the China CDC Weekly English Platform of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are concerns that the virus might pose a risk or potential zoonotic threat to the occupational workers. Hence, it has become the need of the hour for China to keep a close watch on the macaque monkeys and all the occupational workers in China to make sure that it doesn’t face another outbreak.
All in All
It is highly unlikely that this virus will affect the world at large. The risk seems to be only limited to lab workers and veterinarians. It is important to note that the virus currently has no vaccines, and hence, it is necessary for China to be extra-cautious and nip it in the bud.