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Hong Kong’s first monkey virus case – What do we know about the B virus? | Health News

Hong Kong’s first monkey virus case – What do we know about the B virus? | Health News


Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection announced the first human infection of type B virus, a rare occurrence of the virus being transmitted from animals to humans. The center is urging the public to refrain from touching or feeding wild monkeys to reduce the risk of catching them.

Here's what we know about the B virus and the Hong Kong incident.

What do we know about the B virus incident in Hong Kong?

In late February, a 37-year-old man was reportedly attacked and injured by a monkey at Hong Kong's Kam Shan Country Park, also known locally as Monkey Hill. The exact nature of his injuries is unknown.

A statement posted on the Hong Kong government's website said the man, who fell ill several weeks later and was otherwise “previously in good health,” was admitted to the emergency room at Yan Chai Hospital with a fever on March 21. He was admitted to the hospital, where his condition “deteriorated.” level of consciousness.”

On Wednesday of this week, a sample of his cerebrospinal fluid tested positive for the B virus in the Health Protection Center's laboratory.

The infected man is currently in critical condition and being treated in the hospital's intensive care unit.

According to the Hong Kong Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, there are about 1,800 wild monkeys living in Hong Kong, including two different species of macaques and their hybrids. The transmission of diseases from animals to humans is Spread of zoonotic diseases.

What is B virus?

B virus is also known as Simie virus. It causes flu-like symptoms such as fever, fatigue, muscle aches, and headaches. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, symptoms may appear within a month of being infected with the virus, or within three to seven days after infection.

Other symptoms include shortness of breath and nausea, according to the CDC website.

Over time, blisters may appear on the body. As the virus progresses, it spreads to the brain and spinal cord, causing inflammation. This can cause problems with muscle coordination, brain damage, and even death.

The virus can be diagnosed through a B virus polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test using a saliva sample or material from the blister (if present).

Although the case in Hong Kong is the country's first, the Center for Health Protection said cases of the virus have been reported elsewhere, including the United States, Canada, mainland China and Japan.

How does type B virus spread?

According to the CDC, the human virus is usually caused by macaque monkeys, and macaques are commonly infected with the virus but usually do not show symptoms.

According to the CDC, the B virus is naturally found in the saliva, urine and feces of macaque monkeys, which are common in Hong Kong. Humans can become infected if they are bitten or scratched by a macaque monkey, or if macaque tissue or body fluids enter through broken skin as a result of an existing cut or scratch.

Other primates, such as chimpanzees, can also be infected with the virus and frequently die, but there are no records of these other primates spreading the virus to humans. There is no vaccine.

The Hong Kong Health Protection Center recommends that wounds inflicted by monkeys be washed with running water and seek immediate medical attention. The CDC recommends gently washing the wound with soap, detergent, or iodine for 15 minutes, then rinsing with water for an additional 15 to 20 minutes before seeking immediate medical attention.

Humans are not frequently infected with this virus. Since the virus was first identified in 1932, only 50 cases have been recorded, of which 21 people have died, according to the CDC website. Veterinarians and researchers who have close contact with macaques are more vulnerable to the virus.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health's website, one case of the virus spreading from person to person has been reported.

Is treatment possible?

Antiviral drugs can be used to treat viruses.

Antiretroviral therapy (ART), or treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) using anti-HIV drugs, may also be prescribed, but the CDC states that the decision to prescribe ART depends on the patient's condition. It says it takes into account several factors, including: The macaque monkeys were examined to determine how well and quickly the wounds were cleaned, as well as the nature of the wounds, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health's website.




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