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What is the Monkey B virus?

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

What is the Monkey B virus?


China has reported the first human infection case with Monkey B virus (BV).

About Monkey B Virus:

  • First identified in 1932, the virus is learnt to have infected only 50 people till 2020, of which 21 died.
  • It is an alphaherpesvirus enzootic in macaques of the genus Macaca.
  • B virus is the only identified old-world-monkey herpesvirus that displays severe pathogenicity in humans.
  • Currently, there are no vaccines that can protect against B virus infection.



The infection can be transmitted via direct contact and exchange of bodily secretions of monkeys.



  • Initially there are flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills, muscle ache, fatigue and headache.
  • Following this, an infected person may develop small blisters in the wound or area on the body that came in contact with the monkey.
  • Some other symptoms of the infection include shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and hiccups.
  • As the disease progresses, the virus spreads to and causes inflammation (swelling) of the brain and spinal cord, leading to neurologic and inflammatory symptoms such as pain, numbness, itching near the wound site; issues with muscle coordination.


Insta Curious: 

Do you know the differences between viruses and viroids? Reference: Read here



Prelims Link:

  1. About the virus.
  2. Transmission.
  3. Symptoms.
  4. Treatment.

Sources: Indian Express.