Photo: OceanFishing (Getty)
It’s official: The only reason left to go to Florida is Mickey Mouse.
According to Ars Technica, some dude in the 1930s and 40s released around a dozen rhesus macaques on an island along the Silver River outside of Silver Springs, Florida because he was the captain of a glass-bottom boat and thought the monkeys would be something funny for his customers to see along their journey.
Well, nobody is laughing 80 years later because those dozen or so monkeys have turned into some 800 littler fury fuckers, and they apparently can swim like nobody’s business and have made their way off the island and into the nearby Silver Spring State Park and Ocala National Forest.
The problem with that? You guessed it – they all have killer herpes.
No, seriously. While the virus—macacine herpesvirus 1 (McHV-1) – is common amongst the rhesus macaques and will only cause mild infections in them, it unfortunately can be fatal for humans who come into contact with it.
But when McHV-1 gets into humans, it can cause serious problems in the central nervous system. The virus can be spread to humans by monkey bites and scratches, as well as infectious fluids/feces getting splashed into the eyes (which happened once). Depending on the route of infection and the number of virus particles transferred, the infection in humans can progress from flu-like symptoms to neurological problems. These include double vision, lack of voluntary control of muscle movements, and paralysis. If neurological symptoms develop, the infected person will likely die even with antiviral therapy.
Since McHV-1 was identified in 1932, researchers have only documented 50 cases of human infections, all from captive macaques. Of those cases, 21 resulted in death.”
So there you have it, kids. If you see a monkey in Florida, don’t fuck it.