B virus, also known as herpes B virus or monkey B virus, is a type of herpesvirus that is found in macaque monkeys. While the virus typically does not cause symptoms in the monkeys, it can be transmitted to humans and can cause severe illness or even death.
Humans can become infected with B virus through exposure to macaque monkeys or their bodily fluids, such as saliva or urine. B virus can enter the body through breaks in the skin or mucous membranes, such as the eyes, nose, or mouth.
In humans, B virus can cause a condition known as B virus disease, which initially presents with flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, and muscle aches. In some cases, the infection can progress to a more severe neurological disease, which can cause paralysis, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), or death.
B virus disease is rare, but it can be fatal if left untreated. Treatment typically involves antiviral medications, supportive care, and management of any neurological symptoms.
Prevention of B virus infection involves avoiding contact with macaque monkeys or their bodily fluids. People who work with macaques or in areas where macaques are present should follow strict safety precautions, such as wearing protective clothing, gloves, and goggles, and avoiding direct contact with macaque bodily fluids.
In addition, individuals who have been bitten, scratched, or exposed to macaque bodily fluids should seek medical attention immediately, as prompt treatment can help to prevent the development of B virus disease.