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Simian foamy virus found in several people living and working with monkeys in Asia
Date:7/31/2008

many different people, from temple workers to pet owners. One of the people infected was a farmer in Thailand who had trained monkeys to help him harvest coconuts.

"This is a heterogeneous sample subjects reported contact with primates in a variety of contexts," explained Gregory Engel, who is also a physician at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. "It seems that some of these contexts are going to be very important, but they haven't been studied much. Zoo workers and bush meat hunters have been typically considered at the highest risk for viral transmission, but none of the zoo workers or hunters in our sample tested positive for SFV."

The researchers suggest that better disease monitoring and further study of monkey-human interaction could help cut down on the risks associated with viral transmission. People living, working, or visiting areas of Asia with monkey populations can also reduce their risk by limiting their close contact with the animals. Tourists can reduce their risk by wearing long pants around monkeys, and by not trying to feed, pet, or hold the animals.


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Contact: Justin Reedy
jreedy@u.washington.edu
206-685-0382
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert

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