Sunday, September 23, 2018
News Roundup

Mystery Monkey tests positive for herpes B

Cornelius, formerly known as the Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay, has tested positive for the herpes B virus.

Wildlife officials on Thursday received test results from blood that was drawn last week when the wild rhesus macaque was captured in a neighborhood near Lake Maggiore.

The results show Cornelius is healthy, but carries herpes B, a common virus in rhesus macaques, said veterinarian Don Woodman, who has been examining the animal since his capture.

The virus is not life-threatening for the monkey, but may cause "relatively mild lesions," Woodman said.

"It doesn't really change anything for Cornelius," Woodman said. "I don't see that this creates a need to euthanize him."

The virus is of greater concern to humans, who can contract it by getting bitten or scratched by a monkey. Symptoms can take up to two weeks to emerge and include fever, headache and blisters near the wound.

Humans who contract the virus can develop encephalitis, a mostly fatal illness that causes swelling of the brain. Of the 22 herpes B cases in recorded history, 15 people have died from encephalitis, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Before his capture last week, the monkey bit Elizabeth Fowler, 60, outside her home.

As a precaution, she was treated for rabies and herpes. A blood test found no evidence of disease.

After she learned of the monkey's diagnosis, she consulted with a doctor Friday and decided to get more tests just to be sure, said Fowler's daughter, Shannon.

"She's been fine," said Shannon Fowler. "She's been taking care of herself."

Dr. John Sinnott, director of infectious diseases at the University of South Florida and Tampa General Hospital, said contracting herpes B from a monkey is "a rare event."

"If he were in my back yard," he said, "I wouldn't be losing any sleep over it."

The virus, however, may make it more challenging for wildlife officials to find Cornelius a good home because he could infect others of his kind.

At least one facility, Dade City's Wild Things, is interested in adopting Cornelius after his 30-day quarantine. News that he has the virus doesn't change that, said Wild Things director Kathy Stearns.

The 22-acre facility is home to more than 200 animals, including jaguars, zebras and several monkeys.

"At this point, I fear that no one is going to want him now," Stearns said.

Stearns said the facility will find a female macaque for Cornelius if he comes to live there.

Wildlife officials have not yet decided if Cornelius should be moved to the Dade City facility, said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Baryl Martin.

Cornelius was captured Oct. 24 with two tranquilizer darts. He was taken to wildlife rescuer Vernon Yates's facility for a 30-day quarantine.

Only one more exam, which will test the monkey for tuberculosis, is pending, Woodman said.

"Vernon's and my concern from the very beginning has been to save this animal's life," Woodman said.

Laura C. Morel can be reached at (727)893-8713, or [email protected]

Comments
Rays journal: Blue Jays spoil wild-card bid

Rays journal: Blue Jays spoil wild-card bid

TORONTO — There was no drama, no emotional rescues after Saturday's game.After feeling, appropriately, crushed after they gave away Thursday's game, blowing a six-run lead in the ninth, then bouncing back Friday, the Rays on Saturday faced a st...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Jordan Cronkrite’s big run helps USF stay perfect with win over ECU

Jordan Cronkrite’s big run helps USF stay perfect with win over ECU

TAMPA — Whenever USF handed the ball to running back Jordan Cronkrite on Saturday night, a big play seemed close. The Bulls were just one block, one chip, one cut away."We knew it was coming," quarterback Blake Barnett said.Finally, with 1...
Updated: 4 hours ago
USF journal: Standout returner Terrence Horne out with torn ACL

USF journal: Standout returner Terrence Horne out with torn ACL

TAMPA — USF opened its American Athletic Conference schedule Saturday with a 20-13 victory against East Carolina, but it had to do so without the nation's top returner.Freshman receiver and return specialist Terrence Horne tore his ACL in pract...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Joey Knight’s takeaways from Florida-Tennessee

Joey Knight’s takeaways from Florida-Tennessee

For all their defensive opportunism Saturday, make no mistake: The Gators probably remain a year or two away from seriously contending again in the SEC East Division. Still, it beats the Vols, who appear a light-year or two away.Jeremy Pruitt confirm...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Matt Baker’s takeaways from USF-East Carolina

Matt Baker’s takeaways from USF-East Carolina

I figured East Carolina would either look amazing or awful to start, considering it spent the past week and a half in Orlando because of Hurricane Florence. Turns out the Pirates channeled their emotions well, scoring on their first possession and fo...
Updated: 4 hours ago
UF journal: A resounding return for LB David Reese

UF journal: A resounding return for LB David Reese

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Gator fans have spent the better part of September wondering if junior LB David Reese ever would get on the field.They spent the better part of Saturday hoping he'd never come off.Reese, whose 2018 debut was postponed by a hi...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Florida extends Tennessee’s recent SEC futility

Florida extends Tennessee’s recent SEC futility

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On an evening in which Tennessee honored its 1998 national championship squad, the current crop of Vols managed to offset the whole nostalgic shindig.By making the 2018 Gators resemble a national championship-caliber club.A o...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning forward prospect Boris Katchouk putting together strong preseason

Lightning forward prospect Boris Katchouk putting together strong preseason

TAMPA — As the end of training camp looms, there's no clear-cut answer as to how the Lightning will fill the one, maybe two open forward spots in its lineup.It could go with Adam Erne. Spending much of his time in AHL Syracuse the past three se...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning journal: ‘No-risk’ forward pickup; another preseason win; Fan Fest on Sunday

Lightning journal: ‘No-risk’ forward pickup; another preseason win; Fan Fest on Sunday

TAMPA — It didn't take long for Lightning GM Julien BriseBois to decide he wanted to put a waiver claim in Friday.Not when he saw that F Danick Martel was available."He's a player we have had on our radar for a while, going back to actually his...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Deondre Francois throws 2 TDs as Seminoles hold off NIU 37-19

Deondre Francois throws 2 TDs as Seminoles hold off NIU 37-19

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State has been seeking improvement on offense after managing just 10 combined points in its two FBS losses. The Seminoles found some reasons to be optimistic for a turnaround on Saturday. Deondre Francois threw for a season-high...
Updated: 6 hours ago