A 53-year-old veterinary surgeon in Beijing and the first human case of the Monkey B virus have died from the disease according to a report published by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
The surgeon had worked in an experimental research institute specialising in non-human primate breeding. He dissected two dead monkeys in March, and experienced nausea, vomiting, fever and neurological symptoms a month later.
It was gathered that the patient visited several hospitals but died afterwards. Health officials from the CCDC took cerebrospinal fluid from the patient in April and found evidence of the Monkey B virus.
According to the CDC, the B virus infection is extremely rare, but can lead to severe brain damage or death if it is not treated immediately. People can get infected with the virus if they are bitten or scratched by an infected macaque monkey, or have contact with the monkey’s eyes, nose, or mouth.
Symptoms can start a month after being exposed to the virus, but could also appear in as little as three to seven days, the CDC stated.
According to the CDC, if exposed to a macaque monkey, a person first has to thoroughly wash and scrub the area on their body that was in contact with the monkey with soap, detergent or iodine for 15 minutes. They have to run water over the area for 15 to 20 more minutes and seek immediate medical attention.