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Monkey Bites in Travelers: Should We Think of Herpes B Virus?

Ritz, Nicole MD*†‡; Curtis, Nigel FRCPCH, PhD*†§; Buttery, Jim MD*†§; Babl, Franz E. MD, MPH*‡§

doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e3181b0a45c
Illustrative Cases

Monkey bites are frequently reported among children traveling to tropical countries and can be associated with the transmission of zoonoses. Potentially fatal transmission of herpes B virus from macaque bites is rare but well documented in biomedical research facilities. The risk in travelers remains unknown. We report a case of a 7-year-old girl bitten by a macaque on her forehead and discuss her postexposure management.

From the *Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne; and †Infectious Diseases Unit, Department of General Medicine, ‡Emergency Department, and §Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.

Reprints: Franz E. Babl, MD, MPH, Emergency Department, Royal Children's Hospital, Flemington Rd, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia (e-mail:

N.R. was supported by awards from the Swiss National Science Foundation, the European Society of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, and the University of Melbourne.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.