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Monkey Contagion Update

How does 'Monkey Flu' sound?

December 9, 2005

1 Min Read
Monkey Contagion Update

10:45 AM -- The University of Washington Website reported last summer on a new health worry for all you monkey lovers out there:

  • Scientists have identified the first reported case in Asia of primate-to-human transmission of simian foamy virus...

    Even though this particular virus jumping to humans may not prove dangerous, the scientists warn that the dense human and primate populations in Asia could lead to other primate-borne viruses jumping the species barrier and causing human disease...

While "simian foamy virus" sounds pretty disgusting, and AIDS has been blamed on us as well, things aren't so rosy from the monkeys' standpoint either:

  • 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.

Filthy animals, humans.

On a lighter note, the Guardian reported this week that monkeys can catch yawns from each other:

  • In their experiment, the Stirling researchers sat a group of stumptail macaques in front of video clips of other, yawning, macaques. Compared with a control group... the test group yawned more during and after the video...

    The yawn tape also made the macaques scratch themselves more...

It doesn't take much to get a macaque to scratch himself, but the scientists agree that the vital yawning question "will need more research."

— Larry, Germ-Free Monkey, Light Reading

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