More should be done to reduce the threat from viruses that can jump from monkeys to humans, scientists said today.
Several articles on the topic are presented in the September issue of the American Journal of Primatology .
“Viruses are already jumping the species barrier and affecting both people and animals, and there is the potential for much worse,” explained Lisa Jones-Engel, a researcher a primate expert at the University of Washington. “It’s especially cause for concern in Asia, where people and monkeys have so much interaction, and there has been little research done on this topic.”
Scientists believe that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, started out as simian immunodeficiency virus (or SIV), and jumped to humans decades ago when African bush meat hunters became infected by monkeys they hunt for food.
Other viruses, like influenza , have also jumped species barriers. The avian flu circling the globe now could morph into a strain that could create a human pandemic , for example. It happened in 1918.
In one of the journal’s articles, researchers estimate that about six people out of every 1,000 who visit a monkey temple in Bali, Indonesia, will be infected with simian foamy virus (SFV) from a monkey bite. The virus so far has not been shown to cause disease in humans. But viruses like this one are known to remain dormant for years, then sometimes evolve into a variety that can kill the new host.
“This study is basically the first step in quantifying the risk associated with human-to-monkey viral transmission,” said lead author Gregory Engel, a physician and assistant professor of family medicine at the the university. “We have a lot more work to do in determining the risk of viruses jumping the species barrier in these different settings, but the risk is obviously there.”
Previous research found that performing monkeys in Indonesia carry several viruses that could infect humans during the close contact common to street shows.
Contact with primates could allow human virus to jump the other way, too. Marine mammals are known to suffer human diseases .
“Governments and non-governmental organizations can also take steps to reduce the risk of virus transmission,” said Jones-Engel. “Better management of monkey populations, disease surveillance of human and primate populations, and improved public sanitation can all cut down on the risk of viral transmission within monkey populations, and between animals and people.”
- On the anniversary of Covid-19 becoming an official public health emergency, experts say it's time for a change
- Spread of the Delta variant may make it even harder to reach herd immunity, expert says
- COVID-19 leaking from hotel quarantine could be 'stopped in its tracks' by extra measure, experts say
- Trump says a coronavirus vaccine is coming 'soon'. Experts say a 'train wreck' is right after
- Delta variant is 'Covid-19 on steroids,' expert says, with cases increasing in nearly half of US states
- What experts say you should do as stocks stay volatile amid coronavirus
- How accurate is the US coronavirus death count? Some experts say it's off by 'tens of thousands'
- The delta variant is dominant now - but it's 'not the end of the game,' experts say
- Isolated indigenous tribes risk extinction from coronavirus, experts say
- As Coronavirus Cases Rise, Experts Say Take Precautions, But Don’t Panic
- Aussie kids are being 'directly targeted' by coronavirus racism, and experts say it can affect their health
- Scientists Say New Strain of Swine Flu Virus Is Spreading to Humans in China
- More than 100 Brits could die every day if cases rise to 100,000 by August: Experts say jabs have slashed Covid death risk to 0.1%
- Trump doubles down that he's not fueling racism, but experts say he is
- We talked about flattening the curve, but we actually 'obliterated' it, expert says
- Still Reeling From Oil Plunge, Texas Faces New Threat: Surge in Virus Cases
- Face masks are selling out in U.S. over China coronavirus fears, but experts say they won't protect against infection
- Should you get a coronavirus vaccine if you're pregnant? Experts say medical trials need to change.
- 'Foolish' not to vaccinate young kids if COVID-19 shots found safe, effective, expert says
- MI5 agents are investigating children as young as 13 over 'extreme right-wing terror' says spy chief
Experts Say Don't Underestimate Threat of Morphing Monkey Viruses have 701 words, post on www.livescience.com at August 23, 2006. This is cached page on Travel News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.