Hong Kong's first human case of B virus after monkey attack: Know about it

A Hong Kong man was infected by the monkey B virus. This viral infection shows flu-like symptoms but can be fatal if treatment is not provided on time.
Hong Kong's first human case of B virus after monkey attack: Know about it
Jaano Junction

Hong Kong recorded its first human case of B virus after a monkey attacked a 37-year-old man. The health ministry reported the case earlier this month and said that the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) is investigating the human infection of B virus, also called herpes simiae virus.

Although this is the first human B virus case recorded by CHP, these cases have been reported in other places such as the United States, Canada, the Mainland and Japan.

The cases were mainly caused by bites or scratches by monkeys, while human-to-human transmissions are very rare.

According to the family of the patient, the man was wounded by monkeys during his visit to Kam Shan Country Park in late February.

He was admitted to Yan Chai Hospital on March 21 after experiencing fever and decreased conscious level. His cerebrospinal fluid specimen tested positive for B virus.

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Hong Kong's first human case of B virus after monkey attack: Know about it

He is now receiving treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU) and his condition is critical, CHP reported.

The CHP spokesperson said that B virus is naturally carried in the saliva, urine and stool of macaques, which is a type of wild monkeys commonly found in Hong Kong.

Infection could initially show flu-like symptoms that may progress to the central nervous system.

B virus, also known as monkey B virus, herpesvirus simiae, is a type of Simplexvirus that infects macaque monkeys. In monkeys, the B virus causes a condition similar to cold sores in humans.

According to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), B virus infections are very rare but it can lead to severe brain damage or death, if treatment is not given on time.

People can get infected with B virus if they are bitten or scratched by an infected macaque monkey, or have contact with the monkey's eyes, nose, or mouth.

Only one case has been documented of an infected person spreading B virus to another person, as per CDC.

The symptoms of B virus human infection include fever and chills, muscle ache, fatigue and headache. Some people may develop blisters on the wound or the area in the body that came in contact with the monkey.

When exposed to B virus, one should immediately wash and gently scrub the wound or area that was in contact with the monkey. Soap, detergent or iodine should be used for 15 minutes on the wound.

After that let water run over the wound for 15 to 20 minutes or more. Following this, contact a doctor for appropriate treatment.

The treatment for B virus includes providing antiviral medications.

Source: India Today

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