New ‘Langya’ virus from shrews infects dozens in China

New ‘Langya’ virus from shrews infects dozens in China

 

A newly discovered virus identified as Langya henipavirus or LayV belonging to the same family as the dangerous Nipah and Hendra viruses has infected nearly three dozen people in China.

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According to reports, there’s no evidence yet that the pathogen can be transmitted from person-to-person.

The virus was discovered due to an early detection mechanism from feverish persons in eastern China who had just been exposed to animals.

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The patients, who were primarily farmers, complained of being tired, coughing, losing their appetite, and aches. A few of the patients also showed evidence of liver and kidney damage as well as abnormal blood cells.

According to a research in the New England Journal of Medicine, 26 of the 35 patients had just LayV infections. There was no proof that they had been in close proximity to one another or shared an exposure history, which suggests that human infection may be sporadic, according to the researchers.

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Tests detected the Langya in 27% of shrews, a known vector for similar henipaviruses, suggesting the small, furry mole-like mammals may be a natural reservoir, they said.

According to the researchers from Beijing, Singapore, and Australia, more research is needed to better understand the infection. Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control stated that it is monitoring the report and intends to begin screening for the virus.

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