Florida wants to remove herpes-excreting wild monkeys

In this Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 photo, a rhesus macaques monkey observes kayakers as they navigate along the Silver River in Silver Springs, Fla. Wildlife managers in Florida say they want to remove the roaming monkeys from the state in light of a new study published Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, that finds some of the animals are excreting a virus that can be dangerous to humans. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

ON THE SILVER RIVER, Fla. (AP) – Wildlife managers in Florida say they want to remove roaming monkeys from the state because some are excreting a virus that can be dangerous to humans.

In this Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 photo, a rhesus macaques monkey observes kayakers as they navigate along the Silver River in Silver Springs, Fla. Wildlife managers in Florida say they want to remove the roaming monkeys from the state in light of a new study published Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, that finds some of the animals are excreting a virus that can be dangerous to humans. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

A study released Wednesday finds that some of the wild rhesus macaques in Silver Springs State Park not only carry the herpes B virus, but have it in their saliva and other bodily fluids. This poses a potential risk of spreading the disease to any humans who may be bitten or scratched.

Human cases of the virus have been rare, with about 50 documented worldwide, and there have been no known transmissions of it to people from wild rhesus macaques in Florida or elsewhere.

State wildlife officials say they support removing the invasive monkeys from the environment, though they aren’t elaborating on how they would do it.

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