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Herpes B virus (Cercopithecine Herpes 1) 

Herpes B virus (Cercopithecine Herpes 1)
Herpes B virus (Cercopithecine Herpes 1)

David W. G. Brown

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date: 27 October 2021

Herpes B virus or Cercopithecine herpes 1 as it is formally classified causes a persistent infection of monkeys of the Macaca genus. In monkey colonies and social groups, it is transmitted by close contact and sexually. Human infection is rare with less than 50 human cases described it has been seen in monkey handlers exposed to infected monkeys following bites, scratches and abraded skin. Infection has also been recognized in two cases following exposure through laboratory work. Following an incubation period of 9-59 days typically an ascending encephalomyelitis develops which is fatal in 80% of cases. Prevention and control of the risk of B virus is based on avoiding direct contact with infected animals by screening, following handling guidelines for monkeys used in biomedical research and rigorous laboratory safety precautions. Treatment with acyclovir has been successful and halved mortality in recent cases. It is also recommended for prophylaxis in potential exposures.

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