Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Florida man's latest worry: Killer herpes from wild monkeys

Florida man's latest worry: Killer herpes from wild monkeys

The report about the same also consists that there is a need to remove these monkey from the reach of people, which can be a hard task to do. The virus lies dormant in nerves in between flare-ups, similar to cold sores in humans.

Scientists researching a blooming population of rhesus macaques in Silver Springs State Park say that rather than being the carrier of Herpes B which a customary feature in the species, some of the monkeys contain the virus in their saliva and other body fluids which can pose a threat to the humans.

Of the 50 humans that have known to have contracted the herpes B virus, 21 have died. Yet the researchers have not scrutinized this issue in depth.

"The headlines have already taken off about this, but there's really a lot we still don't know about herpes B in wild monkeys", study author Samantha Wisely, a wildlife biologist at the University of Florida, told The Verge.

State wildlife officials reiterated that they have their prime concern over this issue.

"Without management action, the presence and continued expansion of non-native Rhesus macaques in Florida can result in serious human health and safety risks including human injury and transmission of disease". They have been spotted in trees in the Ocala, Sarasota and Tallahassee areas, The Guardian reports.

The researchers estimate that up to 30 percent of the scores of Florida's feral macaques may be actively excreting the virus.

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The rhesus macaque is native to Asia, but were brought to Florida in the 1930s in an attempt to boost tourism during the height of the popularity of Tarzan movies.

The creatures draw nature lovers.

Now almost 30% of the monkeys roaming the park are excreting the herpes B virus through saliva and other body fluids. In humans, herpes B causes a devastating brain disease that the CDC says is deadly about 70 percent of the time - especially without treatment.

As many as 30 percent of the feral monkeys that are living in Florida are said to be infected with the risky herpes strain. To get the spit, they dipped cotton swabs in sugar water, and lobbed them at the monkeys.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission did not expand on what particular administration strategies the state may utilize, however a rep said the commission underpins freeing the condition of the obtrusive animals.

Macaques were introduced to Florida's Silver Springs State Park as a tourist attraction nearly 100 years ago.

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