November 29, 2019 | 5:12pm
A monkey infected a Japanese scientist with the herpes B virus in a rare case of the deadly sickness being passed to a human, according to a report.
The unnamed lab worker — who was in critical condition Friday — had been conducting research on macaque monkeys near Kagoshima City when the employee fell ill, according to NKH Japan.
It wasn’t immediately clear how the scientist was infected, but in most other cases people have been bitten or scratched by a monkey.
Worldwide, only 50 cases of herpes B have been reported in humans in nearly 90 years. It’s the first time it has been contacted in Japan, according to the local outlet.
Officials said the worker, who suffered from headaches and a fever, had been studying the monkeys to develop pharmaceuticals, the outlet reported.
The virus — which causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord — is harmless to primates but is often fatal in humans if left untreated.
In 1997, a researcher died from the virus after bodily fluid from an infected monkey splashed into her eye.