Killer herpes from Florida monkeys could pass to humans, scientists warn


Wildlife officials say they want to remove the monkeys throughout the state that carry the potentially deadly Herpes B virus.

Researchers contemplating a developing populace of rhesus macaques in Silver Springs State Park say that instead of simply conveying herpes B, which is regular in the species, a portion of the monkeys have the infection in their spit and other organic liquids, representing a potential danger of spreading the illness.

This creates them a public wellness hazard, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigators concluded within the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.Herpes B is relatively common and asymptomatic, among macaques along with different critters.

The issue has actually not yet been fully studied. Human cases of herpes B are actually rare, with no recorded transmissions from wild rhesus macaques to people.

The analysts appraise that up to 30% of the scores of Florida's wild macaques might be now discharging the infection.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission didn't go into details on plans.

About 175 free-roaming rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) inhabit the park, descended from a population of around a dozen animals that were released in the 1930s to promote local tourism.

Previous studies of the Silver Springs Park rhesus populations had identified herpes B in the animals, according to a study published in May 2016 by the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).

The virus is rare in humans. But members of the group "supports the removal of these monkeys from the environment to help reduce the threat they pose", they told the Associated Press. The monkeys have since been spotted in other areas outside the park, along the Ocklawaha River. The disease results in severe brain damage or death if not treated immediately, and of the 50 infections, 21 proved to be fatal.

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

Now almost 30% of the monkeys roaming the park are excreting the herpes B virus through saliva and other body fluids. A rhesus monkey on the loose in Pinellas County for more than two years was caught in October 2012. While there are no official statistics on monkeys attacking humans in the park, a state-sponsored study conducted in the 1990s found that there were at least 31 incidents reported resulting in human injury between 1977 and 1984.

Samantha Wisely, a University of Florida disease ecologist and one of the study's authors, said whether the monkeys pose a significant public health threat is still unknown.