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Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Update: Evidence of Filovirus Infection in an Animal Caretaker in a Research/Service Facility

Evidence of filovirus infection in workers in quarantine facilities for imported primates has prompted new guidelines for safe handling of monkeys and the requirement for a special permit to import cynomolgus, African green, and rhesus monkeys into the United States (1,2). This evidence of infection has also prompted studies of other workers exposed to monkeys in various types of facilities.

Filovirus serologic testing was done on 55 CDC employees with current or previous occupational exposure to monkeys. One of these employees, an animal caretaker who had previously handled cynomolgus monkeys but has had no contact with any monkeys since December 1988, was seropositive (filovirus antibody titer greater than or equal to 16 by indirect immunofluorescent antibody and confirmed by Western blot). Serosurveys of other groups of persons exposed to monkeys are in progress. Reported by: RK Sikes, DVM, State Epidemiologist, Georgia Dept of Human Resources. Div of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Scientific Resources Program, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.


  1. CDC. Update: Ebola-related filovirus infection in nonhuman primates and interim guidelines for handling nonhuman primates during transit and quarantine. MMWR 1990;39:22-4,29-30.

  2. CDC. Requirement for a special permit to import cynomolgus, African green, or rhesus monkeys into the United States. Federal Register 1990;55:15210-1.

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