Dozens in China Infected With New ‘Langya’ Virus

Nearly three dozen people in China have been sickened by a newly identified virus from the same family as the deadly Nipah and Hendra viruses, though there’s no evidence the pathogen can be transmitted from person-to-person.

A system used to detect feverish patients who had been in close contact with animals in east China was able to identify the virus as Langya henipavirus, or LayV. The patients—mainly farmers—also reported fatigue, cough, loss of appetite and aches, with several developing blood-cell abnormalities and signs of liver and kidney damage. They all survived.

A report by the CDC found that 26 patients had LayV infection. New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers stated that they found no evidence that the two had ever been in close contact, or even had any prior exposure. They suggested that this could indicate that humans may only have sporadic infections. The virus was found in 27% shrews. It is known to be transmitted by henipaviruses. Researchers suggested that the mole-like, small mammals could have been a reservoir.

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Researchers from Australia, Singapore, Beijing and Singapore believe that further research is required to fully understand the disease. Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control said it is paying attention to the report, and plans to start screening for the virus.

Zoonosis refers to the spread of germs between animals and humans. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it accounts for over six percent of all 10 recognized infectious diseases. They rarely cause any significant disease and often die off without having an immediate impact. A number of tracking systems have been put in place since Covid-19 and are capable of detecting new pathogens.

Assistance from Linda Lew.

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