Thursday, July 14, 2005
Most of the research on simian-human disease exchange has focused on Africa, where experts see the bushmeat trade as a serious danger, but there is much more contact between humans and monkeys in Asia, where people and monkeys live and work (the monkeys actually seem mostly to play and steal, not unlike children). It's true that probably nastiest example comes from there (though some don't seem to be as severe), but that is in my mind no excuse for ignoring Asia.
A new study from the University of Washington indicates that researchers haven't all been ignoring Asia, and documents the first instance of simian foamy virus passing to humans. I don't know anything about that virus, and though the guy shows no symptoms as of yet, it's probably just a matter of time before he does, or someone gets something else. But then, this is how nature works.