A new virus “about to spread” to humans?

The simian hemorrhagic fever virus (SHFV) is beginning to worry some scientists, even though it has been known since the 1960s.

So far, no human infection has been observed. However, the simian hemorrhagic fever virus (SHFV) has been the subject of a new study, the results of which have been published in the journal Cell.

According to the authors of this study, this virus would be “about to spread” to Man, as reported by WhyDoctor?. It belongs to the simian arterivirus family, and causes a disease in some monkeys that is deadly and similar to Ebola.

SHFV: An effect on humans still unknown

Admittedly, colonies of captive macaques were decimated in the 1960s by this virus. But to date, its consequences in the event of a change of host species, namely a transition to humans, are not known. And the scientists who authored this study talk about similarities with HIV.

Sara Sawyer, professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at the University of Colorado, warns:

VShe animal virus has managed to enter human cells, multiply and evade some of the important immune mechanisms that should protect us against an animal virus. It is quite rare and we must pay attention to it.

Zoonosis, a common phenomenon

Cases of virus passages from animals to the human immune system (zoonosis) are very numerous and most are without any effect. But some do, the latest being SARS-CoV-2 responsible for Covid-19.

Sara Sawyer further clarifies:

Covid is just the latest in a long series of animal-to-human transmissions, some of which have resulted in global disasters. We hope that by making people aware of the viruses we need to watch out for, we can get ahead of the game, so that if human infections start happening, we’ll be on the hook quickly.

What do the researchers recommend?

What scientists want is better monitoring and vigilance with regard to populations that are closely related to carrier animals. Certain species of monkeys known to bite and scratch are often in contact with humans.

A few days ago, other researchers informed that a virus this time discovered in bats had similarities to that responsible for Covid.

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