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B Virus

B Virus:

A 37-year-old man wounded by a wild monkey in Hong Kong is in intensive care suffering from infection with B virus.

  • B Virus is an alphaherpesvirus enzootic in macaques of the genus Macaca.
  • B virus is the only identified old-world-monkey herpesvirus.
  • It is also known as herpes B virus or Macacine herpesvirus 1 (McHV-1).
  • It is a type of herpesvirus found in macaque monkeys, particularly rhesus macaques.
  • It is asymptomatic in these animals; it can cause severe neurological complications, including encephalitis.
  • Transmission: In humans, it is transmitted through bites, scratches, or contact with infected bodily fluids. The transmission of this virus among humans is rare. So far, only one case of human to human transmission has been recorded.
  • Its infections in humans are rare but potentially fatal, with symptoms ranging from fever and headache to neurological dysfunction and death.
  • The common symptoms seen during the infection are: fever, headache, myalgia, localized neurologic symptoms might occur near the wound site.
  • Signs of infection in a human usually develop within two to 30 days.
  • There may be blisters around the contact point or wound, together with a flu-like illness.
  • The virus can spread to lymph nodes and the nervous system.
  • This causes agitation, confusion, double vision, trouble with coordination and muscle weakness.
  • Patients can develop hiccups if this inflammation involves the brain stem.
  • If it reaches the lungs, they may need to be admitted to an intensive care unit.
  • There are no vaccines that can protect humans against B virus infection.