A tourist became infected with a deadly virus in a monkey park (4 photos)

Category: Animals, Health, PEGI 16
11 April 2024

In late February, a 37-year-old man was attacked by a troop of monkeys in Hong Kong's Kam Shan Park, also known as Monkey Hill. The tourist contracted a dangerous virus and ended up in intensive care.

The traveler was taken to hospital on March 21 with a high fever and unconsciousness. He is now in intensive care, his condition is assessed as critical.

Tests showed he had contracted the herpes B virus, or simian herpes, which is typically found in the saliva, urine and feces of macaques.

The virus is extremely rare in humans but can cause serious neurological problems, including encephalitis and brain damage.

It is harmless to monkeys, but kills 70 to 80% of infected humans.

Symptoms are similar to the flu: fever, chills, muscle aches, fatigue and headache. Blisters (ulcers) may appear at the site of the bite or scratch.

There is currently no vaccine against herpes B. Treatment includes symptomatic therapy and antiviral drugs.

This is the first case of human infection with simian herpes in Hong Kong, but the disease has previously been found in the United States, Canada and China.

Herpes B virus was discovered in 1932, and since then there have been 50 cases of infection in humans.

The Hong Kong Department of Health urges people not to contact or feed wild monkeys to reduce the risk of infection.

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