(CMR) A veterinary surgeon in China reportedly died in May after being infected with the Monkey B virus (BV). According to the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Weekly, the infected patient, identified as a 53-year-old male, dissected two dead monkeys in March of this year and subsequently suffered nausea and vomiting, followed by fever and neurological symptoms after having contact with the specimens.
On April 17, spinal fluid was taken from the man, and scientists were able to positively identify that he was infected with BV, which is the first-ever case reported in China. He died on May 27. Persons who were in close contact with the doctor have since tested negative for the virus.
The Monkey B virus, commonly linked to the macaque monkey, is an extremely rare illness that was first discovered in 1932. Since then, only 50 people have been diagnosed with the virus, 21 of whom died.
Persons are usually infected after being bitten or scratched by a monkey or when tissue or fluids from a monkey get on their broken skin.
The virus usually leads to problems with muscle coordination, severe damage to the brain and nervous system, and could ultimately result in death, the CDC said. The fatality rate of the Money B virus is between 70 to 80 percent.
Laboratory workers, veterinarians, and people who are frequently exposed to macaque monkeys are at risk for contracting the virus.