Monday, February 22, 2010

Monkey Park To Reopen After Herpes Scare

monkey herpesA safari park monkey enclosure which was closed down after an outbreak of the deadly simian herpes virus will reopen to the public.

Keepers at Longleat Safari Park, near Warminster, made the discovery in November 2008 during a routine test.

Simian herpes can be transmitted from monkeys to humans through a bite, scratch or spit and 80 per cent of people who contract it die because there is no cure.

The Monkey Jungle drive-through enclosure has been closed for the last 15 months but will reopen this summer after staff built a fenced-off area for visitors.

It is not known if any of Longleat's 100 monkeys are still suffering from the virus, which was uncovered after a female tested positive.

In December 1997, research worker Elizabeth Griffin, 22, died of the simian herpes B virus at the Yerkes Regional Primate Centre at Emory University, Atlanta, USA.

She had been splashed in the eye with monkey spittle two weeks earlier and did not seek medical attention.

Full story here.

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