The HSV virus, which causes herpes, has been the cause of death for dozens of marmosets in the Jardim Botânico de Bauru, a city in the interior of São Paulo. According to biologists, animals are contracting the virus, which has no cure, when they ingest food offered by visitors.
The herpes virus is contagious and is spread through direct contact with the infected person’s skin, or through secretions. In humans, the disease affects about nine out of 10 people, being quite common, but in primates the virus is fatal.
Vinícius Sementili Cardoso, a biologist from the Jardim Botânico de Bauru, told JCNET in an interview that there is a myth that all primates feed solely on fruits, especially bananas. As a result, visitors to parks and zoos end up biting fruit and offering pieces to these animals, which come closer because of their interest in the food.
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Cardoso explains, therefore, that the marmosets end up having contact with the virus when consuming these foods, or even when they go through the garbage. “So, it is important that, in addition to not offering food, people also seal well the disposal of their waste”, points out the biologist, saying that animals are also dying from herpes in rural neighborhoods.
Herpes, humans and sago
The professional says that, once infected, marmosets are doomed to death, which happens quickly. The first symptom is the appearance of sores on the mucosa of the face, and it doesn’t take long for the animal to become very weak and die. In addition to being infected by humans, they also infect each other, which is also fatal.
In addition to herpes, marmosets can also contract cavities, which causes them to lose their teeth and starve to death, and can also develop diabetes, liver and kidney problems. In humans, herpes simplex only brings discomfort with infections in the lips or genital area, but immunosuppressed people, herpes can cause more serious problems, affecting the brain, lungs and digestive system.
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