Monkey Diseases

Title: Nine People Test Positive For ‘Monkey Disease’ In India
Date: February 11, 2012
Source: Examiner

Abstract: Shimoga district officials reported Friday that nine people have tested positive for Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) or Monkey Disease in Thirthahalli during the past two weeks.

According to an IBN news report out of India, after a meeting with health officials, Shimoga Zilla Parishad CEO Sanjay Bijjur told the media that nine of the 89 samples sent to virus testing laboratory in Bangalore tested positive for the virus. He has also ordered staff to vaccinate all villagers in all three Primary health division’s covering Konandur, Hombuja and Rippenpet in the taluks before next week.

Kyasanur forest disease (KFD) is caused by Kyasanur forest disease virus (KFDV), a member of the virus family Flaviviridae, the same family that yellow fever and dengue fever belongs.

Although the Karnataka state in India is the endemic focus and place where KFD originally was isolated, a KFD virus variant, Alkhurma virus, was isolated in Saudi Arabia.

Although small rodents are the main hosts for the virus, shrews, bats, and monkeys may also carry the virus. People are infected with KFDV, albeit rarely (~450 cases annually), a tick bite or by contact with an infected animal like a sick monkey.

According to the CDC, the symptoms of KFD include:

After an incubation period of 3-8 days, the symptoms of KFD begin suddenly with fever, headache, severe muscle pain, cough, dehydration, gastrointestinal symptoms and bleeding problems. Patients may experience abnormally low blood pressure, and low platelet, red blood cell, and white blood cell counts. After 1-2 weeks of symptoms, some patients recover without complication. However, in most patients, the illness is biphasic and the patient begins experiencing a second wave of symptoms at the beginning of the third week. These symptoms include fever and signs of encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). KFD has a fatality rate of less than 5%.

There is no specific treatment for KFD; however, treating dehydration and bleeding disorders are important.

The experts at ProMed state that there is a safe and effective inactivated vaccine available in India.

Thirthahalli is located in the Shimoga District of the state of Karnataka, India (Examiner, 2012)

Title: Goodbye Smallpox, Hello...Monkeypox?
Date: September 3, 2012

Abstract: At least as far as the Democratic Republic of the Congo is concerned. This according to researchers led by Anne Rimoin of the UCLA School of Public Health in a study published in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Since the last doses of smallpox vaccine were given in 1980 and smallpox was officially eradicated, cases of monkeypox have increased 20-fold according to the study.

Much of this is likely due to the immunity that smallpox vaccine granted to related viruses like monkeypox. Most of the patients infected with monkeypox were born after the discontinuation of smallpox.

Unlike smallpox which is strictly a human disease, monkeypox not only spreads from animal to animal but also from animals to humans.

In areas like the Congo where monkeys and squirrels are everywhere and more and more people have contact with them; the spread of the virus to humans becomes more likely. This makes control of the disease difficult just as most zoonotic diseases are.

What does this mean in the United States? Monkeypox did 
rear its ugly head here in 2003 when dozens of people became ill. The virus arrived courtesy of imported African rodents who were infected which eventually spread among the prairie dog population in the Midwest. Some fear that US travelers could import the disease and establish the virus in the rodent population.

What is monkeypox?

It is a relatively rare virus found primarily in central and western Africa. The disease is caused by Monkeypox virus. It is closely related to the 
smallpox virus (variola), the virus used in the smallpox vaccine (vaccinia), and the cowpox virus.

Infection with monkeypox is not as serious as its cousin, smallpox, however human deaths have been attributed to monkeypox.

According to the CDC, the symptoms of monkeypox are as follows: About 12 days after people are infected with the virus, they will get a fever, headache, muscle aches, and backache; their lymph nodes will swell; and they will feel tired. One to 3 days (or longer) after the fever starts, they will get a rash. This rash develops into raised bumps filled with fluid and often starts on the face and spreads, but it can start on other parts of the body too. The bumps go through several stages before they get crusty, scab over, and fall off. The illness usually lasts for 2 to 4 weeks.

People at risk for monkeypox are those who get bitten by an infected animal or if you have contact with the animal’s rash, blood or body fluids. It can also be transmitted person to person through respiratory or direct contact and contact with contaminated bedding or clothing.

There is no specific treatment for monkeypox.

As Rimion points out , “Three decades after the eradication of smallpox, pox viruses still deserve our attention” (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Mystery Monkey Tests Positive For Herpes B Virus
November 2, 2012

The rhesus macaque that was on the loose for more than two years in Pinellas County has tested positive for Herpes B.

The monkey was captured last month, after it attacked a St. Petersburg woman.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed to 10 News that the monkey has tested positive for the infectious disease.

An earlier report that the monkey had Hepatitis B was incorrect.

The health department has been notified and officials want to get the word out to anyone who may have been in contact with the monkey before its capture.

The woman who was attacked by the monkey was also notified. She had earlier undergone multiple shots for rabies, herpes and Hepatitis C.

FWC says the monkey probably will not be euthanized because of the diagnosis, but the places it can now live safely at are limited.

The Herpes B virus is common macaque monkeys. Overall however, human infection is rare and can be treated if identified promptly. If left untreated, it can be deadly (WTSP News, 2012).