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Volume 4, Number 1—March 1998


B-virus from Pet Macaque Monkeys: An Emerging Threat in the United States?

Stephanie R. Ostrowski*, Mira J. Leslie†, Terri Parrott‡, Susan Abelt¶, and Patrick E. Piercy§
Author affiliations: *Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; †Arizona Department of Health Services, Phoenix, Arizona, USA; ‡Pembroke Park Animal Hospital, Pembroke Park, Florida, USA; ¶Lake Superior Zoological Gardens, Duluth, Minnesota, USA; §Illinois Department of Public Health, Springfield, Illinois, USA

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Table 1

Selected pet macaque bite casesa,b

Primate species, age, B-virus status
Nature of exposure
Illinois Rhesus, 20+ yrs, B-virus positive Cynomolgus, 2-4 yrs, B-virus negative Household contact (2 adults/3 children), bites, scratches (2 adults) Bought at auction, wife bitten multiple sites, children hand-fed monkey
Florida Cynomolgus, 2 yrs, B-virus positive Household contact (1 adult), bite (1 child) Kissed on lips, ate off owner's plate, shared bed
Arizona Cynomolgus, 2 yrs, B-virus negative Bites on toe and buttock (child) Unprovoked attack on neighbor, declared vicious animal by judge, no. of household contacts (owner) unreported
Cynomolgus, 7 weeks, B-virus positive Household contact (6 adults), bite on face (1 adult) Diapered, shared chewed gum, oral ulcers noted by veterinarian, bite incident at neighborhood bar
Macaque, (species undetermined), 2 yrs, B-virus status unknown Bite on thigh (1 child) Unprovoked attack (climbed fence to bite child)
Macaque, (species and age undetermined), B-virus status unknown Severe bite (1 child) Injured child attended an unlicensed day-care facility run by monkey owner, 7 other monkeys on premises
Minnesota Rhesus, 2 yrs, B-virus positive Household contact, owners' friend bitten Acquired as "child-substitute" (full-time baby-sitters hired)

aCases referred to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 1993.
bAs of November 1997, no confirmed transmission of B-virus in these persons has been documented.

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