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    Wild Herpes-Infected Monkeys Running Amok in Florida

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Wild rhesus monkeys infected with the Herpes B virus are making their way across Florida.

    Wild rhesus monkeys infected with the Herpes B virus are making their way across Florida.

    They hail from the Silver River State Park near Ocala, where a colony of them was established in the late 1930s.

    Inspired by the boom in monkey popularity the movie Tarzan brought about, 3 pairs of them were introduced to fascinate and entertain the park’s visitors.

    They were initially confined to an island along the river, but over the years they’ve learned to swim – and there are over a thousand of them.

    Now the herpes-carrying animals are showing up in communities around the park and some have been found as far as Jacksonville, a city hundreds of miles away.

    Given their spread and their numbers, they’ve been declared a public health risk.

    While the animals themselves don’t seem to be suffering, they can inflict a bevy of diseases upon humans.

    Contact can result in extreme sensory sensitivity, loss of muscle coordination, paralysis, and even death.

    In the past decade over 700 of the monkeys have been captured by state officials. Of that group, the majority tested positive for the Herpes B virus.