November 13, 2010

B virus, also called Herpesvirus simiae, is a a rare disease that is not usually encountered in my The Woodlands dermatology and Conroe dermatology offices.  It is most commonly found in Asia and usually infects monkeys; however, humans can become infected with B virus through bites or scratches from monkeys harboring the virus.  After a patient is bitten, a vesicle (blister) occurs at the site of the bite followed by erythema (redness) and edema (swelling).  Necrosis of the skin can ultimately occur and lymphadenopathy (lymph node swelling) is typical.  Severe neurological consequences can soon follow initially involving the peripheral nerves resulting in paresthesias (abnormal sensations such as pain or tingling).  Ultimately, the spinal cord can be involved resulting in paralysis.  The brain can become involved and results in a severe encephalitis in which the patient experiences loss of consciousness, seizures, and death.  Early initiation of systemic antiviral medicines is very important although some cases of B virus have shown no response to aggressive early treatment.

B virus