Thursday, September 27, 2007

Monkey On the Loose In Columbia

monkey looseHealth officials in Boone County are asking for help in locating a monkey that bit a 7-year-old boy this weekend at Columbia's Stephens Lake Park. The monkey was last seen with a woman Saturday near downtown Columbia.

The Health Department is interested in contacting the monkey's owner to assess the risk the child could have been exposed to disease.

KRCG News talked with Gerry Worley of the Health Department and says the boy has a slight risk of rabies, but the main concern is the possible infection of the Simian virus.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the Simian virus infects several species of monkeys and typically does not cause symptoms or disease in the animals.

However, the virus is a possible cause of cancer in humans.

If anyone has any information on how to locate the owner of the monkey, please call Animal Control at (573) 449-1888. All calls will be kept confidential.

Story here.

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