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Yellow fever strikes monkey populations in South America
Date:3/11/2010

med at the Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Virales Humanas in January 2008 with a number of tests. Argentina's National Health Authority was notified and launched a vaccination campaign in Misiones.

Researchers eventually located 59 dead monkeys from outbreaks during the spring and summer of 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.

Yellow fever is caused by a virus from Africa that was brought to the Americas by colonists and the slave trade and still affects people in tropical areas. All Neotropical primates are highly susceptible to the disease, as they have not co-evolved with the virus. Since most howlers suddenly die after becoming infected, researchers concluded that these populations do not serve as reservoirs for the disease-causing virus.

"This study shows the importance of wildlife monitoring as a means of early detection for pathogens that could affect both animals and humans," added Beldomenico. "Wildlife health is also an important component of conserving endangered species such as howler monkeys."

Other recommendations include: human vaccinations around areas affected by disease; prompting people to quickly report monkey mortalities; and education for people living near protected areas about wildlife and the disease risks of capturing animals for pets.


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Contact: John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert

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