What is known about Langya, a new lethal virus discovered in China

This is the first time the virus has been identified in humans.  The pathogen belongs to the Henipavirus family, which includes two other species already identified, the Hendra and Nipah viruses.

This is the first time the virus has been identified in humans. The pathogen belongs to the Henipavirus family, which includes two other species already identified, the Hendra and Nipah viruses.

| Photo: Canva

China has discovered a potentially fatal new virus. Chinese scientists published, in the scientific journal The New England Journal of Medicine, an alert identifying the new virus in the country. At least 35 people have been infected by this new virus in China called Langya (LayV).

While no one has died or been seriously ill in the face of this outbreak of Langya infections, local authorities have started testing procedures to find the virus and track its spread. The Taiwan Center for Disease Control confirms the information.

The Langya Henipavirus, known as “Langya”, has infected 35 people. Most patients had fever. Other symptoms observed were: tiredness (54%), cough (50%), loss of appetite (50%), muscle pain (46%), nausea (38%), headache (35%) and vomiting (35% ), accompanied by abnormalities of low platelet (35%), low white blood cell count (54%), and reduced liver (35%) and kidney (8%) function.

In addition, experts have noticed a reduction in white blood cells, liver failure, kidney failure and low platelet counts. As the Langya virus was recently discovered, all of the experts’ concentrations now involve tracking down human infections.

This is the first time the virus has been identified in humans. The pathogen belongs to the Henipavirus family, which includes two other species already identified, the Hendra and Nipah viruses. The two diseases cause serious conditions and still have no treatment – ​​in general, the viruses in this family have a fatality rate between 40% and 75%, according to the World Health Organization.

Nipah was discovered in 1999 in Malaysia and Singapore, and was responsible for 100 deaths out of 300 cases. The World Health Organization (WHO) has included it in the list of viruses with pandemic potential.

So far, the virus has been found in the Chinese provinces of Shandong and Henan, and human-to-human transmission has yet to be reported, says The Taipei Times.

The development of the new henipavirus also appeared in a study titled “A zoonotic henipavirus in febrile patients in China,” published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week.

“There was no close contact or history of exposure common among the patients, which suggests that infection in the human population may be sporadic,” the study said.

The study found that of 25 species of small wild animals tested, the virus was found predominantly in shrews (27%) – small mammal species -, and stated that it was “a finding that suggests the shrew may be a natural reservoir of LayV.” ”.

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