Know what is Monkey B virus, its causes, symptoms, and preventions as the virus claims a life in China

Publish Date: 19 Jul, 2021 |

Monkey B virus (BV):

The first case of the Monkey B virus was reported in March 2021, while the person infected died in May after seeking treatment at various hospitals as revealed by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) last week. As per the reports, the analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid from the patient indicated alphaherpesvirus infection. 

While samples from blister fluid, blood, nasal swab, throat swab, and plasma were collected that indicated the infection from the Monkey BV.

What is the Monkey B virus (BV)?

The monkey  BV is caused by macaques and could be transmitted by macaques, chimpanzees, and capuchin monkeys, and can prove to be deadly. The B virus is also referred to as Herpes B, monkey B virus, herpesvirus simiae, and herpesvirus B.

While the United States’ center for Disease Control (CDC) stated that the B virus infection in people is rare and has infected only 50 since it was first detected in 1932, and only 21 of them have died since then. 

It must be noted that since the Chinese surgeon died due to the virus, no traces of human-to-human transmission were reported, as the contact tracing also showed a negative result. 

What are the Symptoms of the Monkey B virus?

Similar to the Coronavirus, the early symptoms of the Monkey B virus are flu-like, which include muscle ache, fatigue, chills, fever, and headache. With time, the infected person may develop small blisters in the wound, and some other symptoms of the virus include shortness of breath, hiccups, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

However, if the disease starts worsening, the virus may lead to swelling in the brain and the spinal cord, thereby causing neurological and inflammatory symptoms, problems with muscle coordination, brain damage, and severe damage to the nervous system, and ultimately the death. 

While as per the CDC, these symptoms may worsen between one day to three weeks. 

The treatment for the Monkey B virus:

As per the latest data, no vaccine to work against the Monkey B virus has been developed yet. However, antiviral medications can help in reducing the risk to the life of the person infected. 

While the doctors advise that if a person is bitten by a monkey should,

  • Wash and gently scrub the wound with a detergent, soap, or Iodine for at least 15 minutes.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Run water over the wound or the affected area for another 15 to 20 minutes. 



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