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Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Nov 15;35(10):1191-203. Epub 2002 Oct 17.

Recommendations for prevention of and therapy for exposure to B virus (cercopithecine herpesvirus 1).

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  • 1Medical Virology Section, Laboratory of Clinical Investigation, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


B virus (Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1) is a zoonotic agent that can cause fatal encephalomyelitis in humans. The virus naturally infects macaque monkeys, resulting in disease that is similar to herpes simplex virus infection in humans. Although B virus infection generally is asymptomatic or mild in macaques, it can be fatal in humans. Previously reported cases of B virus disease in humans usually have been attributed to animal bites, scratches, or percutaneous inoculation with infected materials; however, the first fatal case of B virus infection due to mucosal splash exposure was reported in 1998. This case prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta, Georgia) to convene a working group in 1999 to reconsider the prior recommendations for prevention and treatment of B virus exposure. The present report updates previous recommendations for the prevention, evaluation, and treatment of B virus infection in humans and considers the role of newer antiviral agents in postexposure prophylaxis.

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