Monkey infects human with fatal herpes strain in first case

In a disturbing medical first, a monkey in Japan has infected a human with the potentially fatal herpes B virus.

Medical authorities in Kagoshima, Japan, report a worker at an animal experimentation lab had been infected with the herpes B virus through contact with a monkey.

The diagnosis was made after the unnamed animal experimenter presented themselves at a hospital complaining of fever and a headache.

It’s the first time this has happened in the country.

Herpes B is common in monkeys, with over half of rhesus Macaques, for example, thought to be carriers of the virus.

The B virus was identified in 1932. It’s rare in humans but in the 31 recorded cases of infection 21 of them have been fatal.

The National Institute of Infectious Diseases confirmed earlier this month that the patient contracted the B virus and is in critical condition

Kagoshima city officials say there are currently no concerns that the virus has spread to others