Florida plagued by herpes-riddled monkeys that can kill humans

Florida plagued by herpes-riddled monkeys that can kill humans

While Florida's officials determine their course of action, people in Florida are advised to steer clear from the monkeys when they see them to completely avoid the chance of being infected with the herpes B virus.

As many as 30 percent of the rhesus macaque monkeys at the Silver Springs State Park in Central Florida excrete the virus through saliva and other bodily fluids, researchers found through blood sample data of 317 rhesus macaques examined in Marion County, Florida, between 2000 and 2012.

To date, only 50 cases of herpes B have been documented in humans in the USA since the disease was first identified in 1932, and numerous infections resulted from animal scratches or bites, according to the CDC. However, the researchers say the issue has not been thoroughly studied. While it is common among macaques, the study, which was published in the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, claims the virus can be transmitted to humans and poses several health risks.

"When it occurs, it can bring about serious mind harm or demise if the patient isn't dealt with quickly", a CDC rep says in an announcement. All infected people were infected by contact with monkeys in labs.

Members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded to the public health concern.

The CDC said there is always concern about the threat that diseases like herpes B virus pose to people, especially in settings where there is frequent interaction between animals and humans where scratches or bites can occur. A study released Wednesday (10 January) claims that their body fluids, including saliva and faeces, contain a deadly virus that is risky to man, reports the AP.

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She says even though the rhesus macaque monkeys can look friendly and be playful at times, they can be deadly from just one simple bite or scratch. They have been spotted in trees in the Ocala, Sarasota and Tallahassee areas, The Guardian reports.

The creatures draw nature lovers. "Monkey, monkey, monkey!" he cried.

The rhesus macaques are an invasive species native to Southeast Asia.

But there was human error in that plan. They were first introduced to Silver Springs State Park in the mid-1930s, when they were intentionally released into the park to attract tourists.

"They didn't know monkeys could swim", O'Lenick said.

Wildlife officials are now pushing for the removal of the monkeys roaming in Florida in the interest of public health and safety. The paper recommends that Florida wildlife managers consider the virus in future policy decisions.

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