Florida is, in reality, not that bizarre of a state, or at least no weirder than any other state, despite what respected news organizations would have you believe. That said, apparently Florida has a problem on its hands: Freakin’ herpes-ridden Rhesus monkeys straight out of a late ’90s virus movie.
Basically, what happened was this: Back in 1930, some idiot released a few pairs of Rhesus monkeys into the wild because they’re cute and Tarzan was a thing. This has meant that, eighty years later, there are now nearly 1,000 Rhesus pieces running around the state, after they learned to swim off the small island in the Silver River they were marooned on. They’ve been found hundreds of miles away in major urban areas such as Jacksonville, and they’re notoriously difficult to catch; one of these clever little jerkasses took four years to finally trap.
Oh, and they have monkey herpes. You might be wondering why monkey herpes is such a big deal. The short answer is the herpes somebody might pick up from a drunken night in a skanky bar is HSV-1 or HSV-2. It’s painful, unpleasant, and humiliating, but it’s unlikely to kill you. Monkey herpes is Herpes B, which has an 80% fatality rate in humans and it can kill you in a month and a half.
Did we mention that the vast majority of these monkeys have the monkey herp? And that it can be transmitted via bites and scratches? And that they like to live near water, which is essentially all that Florida is?
So, essentially, Florida is facing a massive public health crisis courtesy of a bunch of wild animals that have rapidly adapted to their environment and carry a deadly disease. All we really need is Dustin Hoffman and Julia Roberts, and we can stage Outbreak for real.
(Image courtesy of Abhi Here on Flickr)