I might be a bit cheeky and perhaps even mischievous but am not into monkey business (literally). I have never been a fan of monkeys, in fact when people talk about their phobias mine happens to be just that, monkeys. Just like all phobias have a genesis mine begun when I was little, I recall a baby monkey (infant) falling from a tree and I being so young and naïve tried to rescue the poor infant. To my surprise however, its mother thought I was trying to kidnap the poor thing and she sounded the alarm and believe me or not, I was chased by a troop of monkeys all the way from the playground to our house (it was quite a distance but I was quite the sprinter). I reached for the door to our house in the nick of time and I count myself lucky up to date.
Monkeys as you well know are our closest relatives, and as much as we should interact with them we should also be very cautious because they can be violent. My phobia for monkeys started on that violent note, over the years however, I have learnt that indeed monkeys should be feared. They might be cute and resemble us in some way but trust me, they are very dangerous especially to our health.
Diseases of animals that can infect humans are normally referred to as zoonoses and most of them are spread through bites or exposure to the saliva, or fecal matter. Monkeys are responsible for some of the most serious zoonotic diseases on this planet. Below is a list of some of the zoonotic diseases you can contract from monkeys.
1. Ebola is a fatal disease that causes severe bleeding in humans and is normally acquired from eating dead monkeys that died from the disease although it is thought that fruit bats are the natural hosts for Ebola virus. Human to human transmission is through contact including sexual activity.
2. African Green Monkey Disease/ Marburg Disease is a close relative to the Ebola virus and causes severe bleeding and high fatalities.
3. Herpes B/ Monkey B virus is a disease that is spread to humans through bites, scratches or saliva from infected monkeys. This disease cause similar signs as Herpes simplex.
4. Simian Immuno-deficiency viruses and other retroviruses (HIV)
7. Bacterial diseases such as Salmonellosis,Shigellosis and Campylobacteriosis.
What to do if you have been bitten by a monkey
You should wash the area thoroughly with povidone iodine or chlorhexidine solution for about 15 minutes and consult your doctor and veterinarian if the monkey is your pet.