Monkey B virus causes first human death in China

Amid global pandemic of COVID-19, another new infection has been reported in China. A Beijing-based veterinary surgeon was infected with the virus after he dissected two dead monkeys in early March, according to China CDC Weekly.

The 53-year-old man who worked for an institution researching on non-human primates, showed early-onset symptoms of nausea and vomiting, a month after he dissected two dead monkeys in early March, the state-run Global Times reported on Saturday, citing English Platform of Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

The vet had sought treatment in several hospitals, and eventually died on 27 May, the report said. His close contacts are safe from it, for now, it added.

It said that there were no fatal or even clinically evident BV infections in China before, thus the vet’s case marks the first human infection case with BV identified in China.

Researchers had collected the cerebrospinal fluid of the veterinarian in April and identified him as positive for BV, yet samples of his close contacts suggested negative results for the virus.

It is necessary to eliminate BV during the development of specific pathogen-free rhesus colonies and to strengthen surveillance in laboratory macaques and occupational workers in China, the report said.