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originally posted by: Wide-Eyes
a reply to: LookingAtMars
How do they know it's fatal to humans?
Have they tested it on someone?
Eta: a reply to: infolurker
Nevermind, question answered.
Herpes B-virus: 80 to 90 percent of all macaque monkeys are infected with Herpes B-virus or Simian B, a virus that is harmless to monkeys but often fatal in humans. Monkeys shed the virus intermittently in saliva or genital secretions, which generally occur when the monkey is ill, under stress, or during breeding season. At any given time, about 2% of infected macaque monkeys are shedding the virus. A person who is bitten, scratched, or sneezed or spit on while shedding occurs runs the risk of contracting the disease. Monkeys rarely show any signs or symptoms of shedding, making it nearly impossible to know when one is at risk.
Reported cases of infection in humans are very rare; since the identification of the virus in 1932, there have only been 31 documented human infections by B virus, 21 of which were fatal. According to the CDC, the reason for “such an apparently low rate of transmission may include infrequent B virus shedding by macaques, cross-reactive immunity against B virus stimulated by herpes simplex virus infection, and undetected asymptomatic infection.” However, the frequency of Herpes B infection in humans has never been adequately studied and thus it is difficult to quantify how many people are actually infected with the virus. Persons who possess or work with infected monkeys are presumed to be in constant peril of potentially contracting the virus.
Monkeys have also been known to transmit the Ebola virus, monkey pox, and other deadly illnesses.