China Reports First Death From Rare New Virus

( Think the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough? Imagine what it would be like if the world was hit by a deadly monkey virus…

The Centers for Disease Control in China reported over the last weekend that a man had died after contracting a rare virus, known as the “Monkey B virus” or “BV.”

The virus is also known as “Macacine alphaherpesvirus 1.” It originates from the Macaca variety of monkeys and is typically only transmitted through bodily fluids and direct contact, meaning we’re unlikely to see a global pandemic…unless it mutates and becomes airborne. The virus was first isolated in 1932, and it is rarely spotted in humans primarily because of the way it spreads.

The Chinese Centers for Disease Control issued a statement describing how the patient was a 53-year-old male who worked as a veterinary surgeon at an institute in Beijing. He specialized in research of nonhuman primate breeding and appears to have caught the virus after dissecting two monkeys in March earlier this year. He began experiencing vomiting, fevers, and nausea roughly one month after performing the dissections.

On March 27, the man reportedly passed away after visiting the hospital several times. And if the reports are to be believed – which is difficult with China – it is meant to be the first-ever fatal case of CV in humans recorded in the country.

It appears unlikely at this point that the case of human BV infection is anything for the rest of the world to be scared about, but the parallels with COVID-19 are interesting. It is widely believed that COVID-19 originated in a Chinese laboratory and researchers contracted the virus in late 2019, months before the virus was noticed in the United States.

The Chinese Centers for Disease Control said that secondary transmission of the virus is minimal, there has been one case of the virus being transmitted between humans. For the most part, this kind of virus only affects veterinarians and animal care professionals.