New Langya Virus Hits China: What Are the Symptoms? How Was It Discovered?
A new zoonotic virus – Langya Henipavirus – has been discovered in China, with 35 people being infected.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the spread of infection from animals to humans, called zoonosis, accounts for more than six of out of every 10 known infectious diseases in people.
What are the symptoms? How was it discovered? Here's all you need to know.
What is the Langya virus?
According to a recent study — A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China — published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Langya is a distinct Henipavirus.
Other Henipavirus are Hendra, Nipah, Cedar, Mojiang and the Ghanaian bat virus. Both Nipah and Hendra can also infect human beings.
What are the symptoms?
Those infected have complained of: Fever, fatigue, cough, anorexia, myalgia, nausea, headache, and vomiting, and in 35 percent cases impaired liver and eight percent of them with impaired kidney function.
How was the virus discovered?
The Langya was discovered in eastern China, during the regular surveillance testing of patients who had fever – among those who had recent history of animal exposure.
According to the NEJM study, 35 patients with LayV infection were found in Shandong and Henan provinces.
Is human-to-human transmission possible?
We do not know yet. The article cited said that there was no close or common exposure about the patients. This suggests that the infection in the human population is sporadic.
“Contact tracing of 9 patients with 15 close-contact family members revealed no close-contact LayV transmission, but our sample size was too small to determine the status of human-to-human transmission for LayV," the article said.
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