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Primate virus jumps species barrier to humans for first time in Asia

ease the risk of a bite or scratch, which can lead to transmission of infection. Visitors occasionally engage in other risky behavior, such as touching animals or trying to hold baby monkeys. Limiting such behavior can reduce the risk of bites and scratches.

"If you look at free-ranging monkeys in Singapore's nature reserves, you see that feeding by visitors is not allowed, and it is actively discouraged," says Gregory Engel, an attending physician at Swedish/Providence Hospital in Seattle, Wash., a clinical instructor of family medicine at the University of Washington, and a co-author on the study. "Interspecies interaction there is very different, and rates of human-monkey contact are much lower."

Limiting dangerous contact between primates and humans can have other benefits, as well, such as reducing the transmission of human infections to monkeys. Human measles, for instance, can cause disease in monkeys and can even kill them. Other primate species have already seen significant population losses because of infection by human illnesses.


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Source:University of Washington


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