Mystery Monkey tests positive for Herpes B virus

11:19 AM, Nov 2, 2012   |    comments
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Seminole, Florida -- The rhesus macaque that was on the loose for more than two years in Pinellas County has tested positive for Herpes B.

The monkey was captured last month, after it attacked a St. Petersburg woman.

Photo Gallery: Pictures of the monkey on the loose
More Pictures: First pics of the monkey in captivity

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed to 10 News that the monkey has tested positive for the infectious disease.

An earlier report that the monkey had Hepatitis B was incorrect.

The health department has been notified and officials want to get the word out to anyone who may have been in contact with the monkey before its capture.

The woman who was attacked by the monkey was also notified. She had earlier undergone multiple shots for rabies, herpes and Hepatitis C.

FWC says the monkey probably will not be euthanized because of the diagnosis, but the places it can now live safely at are limited.

READ: More info on Herpes B from the CDC (PDF)

The Herpes B virus is common macaque monkeys. Overall however, human infection is rare and can be treated if identified promptly. If left untreated, it can be deadly.

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