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September 15, 2019

The real 28 days later! Deadly Virus is Alive

A new deadly virus strain has ‘jumped’ from an infected monkey colony at a U.S laboratory to a human, according to researchers.Scientists said it was very unusual for this type of virus to move between species and warranted further study.

It echoes the first scenes of the British horror film ’28 days later’ when a deadly pandemic is triggered when activists break into a lab and are infected by a chimp with a ‘Rage’ virus.However, experts at the University of California San Francisco said their was no cause for alarm at present as there is no evidence the virus has spread any further

.And although the virus killed more than one-third of the monkey colony, the scientist has since recovered from her illness.Lead investigator Dr Charles Chiu from UCSF said: ‘there is very strong evidence to suggest a cross-species transmission event happened.’I don’t think people should be worried about this right now. It’s more of a worry to public health officials monitoring these new viruses that have the potential for causing outbreaks.’But he added: ‘There is possibly some evidence it’s transmissible, but we just don’t know yet.’If this virus has the potential for human-to-human transmission, it would have the potential of developing into an outbreak.’

The study was presented at the Infectious Diseases Society of America annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada.The scientist appears to have caught the virus while investigating an outbreak of illness among a colony of Titi monkeys at the California National Primate Research Center in Davis, Dr Chiu said.Among the monkeys, the virus was highly contagious and deadly: Of 55 monkeys housed at the center, 23 became seriously ill with upper respiratory symptoms that progressed to pneumonia and an inflammation of the liver.Nineteen monkeys, or about 83 per cent of those infected, died.

Broad-spectrum antibiotics did not help the monkeys, suggesting that the pneumonia was caused by the virus and not a secondary bacterial infection, Dr Chiu said.Researchers later determined the cause of the illness was a new strain of adenovirus, that can cause everything fromthe common cold to pneumonia and gastroenteritis.Dr Chiu said: ‘By looking at the ‘sequence divergence’, or how different the genetic sequence of this adenovirus is relatively to other adenoviruses, we believe it is a new species.’The scientist who fell ill had been in close contact with the monkeys. She became seriously ill with pneumonia but was not hospitalised and recovered after four weeks.Her blood tested positive for antibodies to the virus three months after the epidemic, which meant the new adenovirus was likely to be the cause of her illness.

While other viruses can infect more than one species, adenoviruses tend to be species-specific, which makes this somewhat unusual.Dr Chiu said: ‘When viruses jump they can cause much more severe disease or less severe disease.These findings might be an argument to do more broad surveillance of animals. If we can better understand what kind of viruses circulate in animals, it might help predict what viruses might jump over and when.’

Via: dailymail.co.uk

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