A woman who began to feel sick after being exposed to monkeys heading to a CDC quarantine centre (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) learned that her disease was not caused by primates, but was simply an outbreak of covid-19.
Michele Fallon was driving behind a truck when he crashed into a turning truck, causing both of them to get out of the way and opening one side of the truck's trailer. Boxes and debris spread along the road and around the crash site. After verifying that the driver was well, the woman returned to the back of the trailer, where another person said that she saw a cat running into the forest, and assumed that the truck was carrying cages with cats.
Fallon checked one of the cages and removed a cloth covering one of them. She stuck her finger in one of the boxes and heard a grunt, then a monkey jumped and looked at her, producing a NAP that startled her.
The woman remembered walking to check the monkeys in an area that had been covered by primate feces, where she found a completely shattered box and another that was broken but still contained some monkeys. Fallon informed the driver about the cage, who warned him that the monkeys had not yet been quarantined and that he should not touch anything.
The monkeys were on their way to a CDC quarantine facility, so members of the agency moved to the site to assist local law enforcement with containment.
Shortly after the terrible experience, Fallon began to feel sick and presented a very serious case of conjunctivitis. She hospitalized herself in a hospital and prescribed antibiotics and rabies vaccines. The news of her illness began to spread on social media, causing some people (including right-wing conspirators) to wonder if she was patient zero of a new monkey plague.
According to Fallon and the doctors who treated her, it was nothing like that: she just had covid-19.
"I want people to know that I'm not sick, I found out that Friday night I was at a birthday party and that the people who were there had covid-19," he told the Daily item. "I was exposed to monkeys and exposed to people with covid. It was the worst day of my life. "
The woman said that at first she was not concerned about her exposure to monkeys, but then received a call from the CDC that motivated her to go to the hospital.
"I explained to them what happened and they told me that I had a very low risk of having anything, but I went to have them check me out anyway because I started feeling bad," he added.
A group of three monkeys managed to escape, but local police said the animals were traced and recovered. The escaped primates were "subjected to humanly euthanasia according to the guidelines of the American Veterinary Medical Association," said the Pennsylvania Department of Health in a statement.
The animals were cynomolgus macaques and are often used for medical tests.