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Herpes B virus

Herpes B (also known as B virus, monkey B virus, herpesvirus simiae, and herpesvirus B) is a virus found among macaque monkeys.  Humans can be infected through bites or scratches from an infected macaque or mucosal contact with its body fluid or tissue.  Human infection with herpes B virus is extremely rare but can result in severe brain damage or death in about 70% if the patient is not treated soon after exposure.

Herpes B infection is not listed separately on the list of reportable diseases but falls under the category of an Unusual Disease for reporting. To report a case, health care providers/facilities should call OCHCA Epidemiology at 714-834-8180 or fax records to 714-560-4050.  In addition, animal bites should be reported to the local animal control agency or Orange County Animal Care as per the California code of Regulations (Title 17, Sections 2606, H&SC Sections 1900-2000) and the Orange County Codified Ordinance 4-1-62.  To report an animal bite or scratch from a domestic or wild animal, call Orange County Animal Care at 714-796-6421 or fill out the form on-line (

For more information about herpes B virus, see the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website

Last reviewed December 7, 2018