Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms typically start within one month of being exposed to B virus, but could appear in as little as three to seven days.

The first indications of B virus infection are typically flu-like symptoms:

  • fever and chills
  • muscle ache
  • fatigue
  • headache

Then, you may develop small blisters in the wound or area on your body that had contact with the monkey.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hiccups

As the disease progresses, the virus spreads to and causes inflammation (swelling) of the brain and spinal cord. This can lead to:

  • Neurologic and inflammatory symptoms (pain, numbness, itching) near the wound site
  • Problems with muscle coordination
  • Brain damage and severe damage to the nervous system
  • Death

Problems with breathing and death can occur one day to three weeks after symptoms appear. It may be possible for people to have mild B virus infection or no symptoms. However, there are no studies or evidence of this.

Page last reviewed: January 30, 2019