According to government media here on Tuesday; a novel strain of henipavirus (Langya Virus) produced by animals has so far infected people in the Chinese provinces of Shandong and Henan.
As reported by media sources cited by the state-run Global Times; the new strain of henipavirus, also known as the Langya henipavirus or LayV, was reportedly found in throat swab samples taken from febrile patients in eastern China.
This week, China stated that 35 people in the provinces of Henan and Shandong had contracted the “Langya” virus.
The Langya henipavirus is a member of a family of deadly viruses that, in severe circumstances, can be fatal.
Doctors have expressed concern over this new virus in numerous western nations and Taiwan.
Patients in China are exhibiting flu-like symptoms; although there have been no fatalities due to the incidents.
Shrews, moles, and hedgehogs are examples of rodents that act as the virus’s natural reservoirs.
Pathogens at biosafety level 4 are henipaviruses (BSL4). They can cause severe sickness in humans and animals, and there are currently no approved medications or vaccines designed specifically for humans.
Here is what you should know about the Langya henipavirus as follows:
According to a recent study titled “A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control, only two henipaviruses—Hendra and Nipah—infect people and can result in fatal illness.
Other henipaviruses include Cedar, Mojiang, the Ghanaian bat virus, Hendra, Nipah, and Cedar. The NEJM paper calls for further research into the illnesses linked to Langya, which is known to cause fever in humans.
Researchers stopped looking into the virus because all resources were devoted to halting the COVID-19 outbreak.
What are the Langya virus’s symptoms?
In the 35 patients from Shandong and Henan provinces in China examined by the NEJM study, 26 had only the Langya henipavirus and no other infections.
August 2020 saw the detection of eleven instances.
Clinical symptoms are fever, irritability, coughing, anorexia, myalgia, nausea, headaches, and vomiting.
In addition, 35% of the total 26 reported experiencing nausea and vomiting. The Indian Express cited study findings indicating 35% of participants had impaired liver function, and 8% had poor renal function.
Chinese medical experts are investigating whether domestic or wild animals were the source of the disease’s human transmission. They examined 262 shrews, and 71 of them had the virus.
The virus also infected dogs and goats. However, according to the Chinese experts, the sample size was insufficient to determine human-to-human transmission.
The study’s authors have emphasised how small the sample size is for determining human-to-human transfer.
However, they point out that none of the 35 individuals who had the LayV infection had any “close contact or shared exposure history,” suggesting that the infection “in the human population may be sporadic.”
The CDC estimates that more than six out of every ten infectious diseases in humans are caused by the zoonotic transmission of germs from animals to humans. Yet, most of the time, they only mildly afflict people before disappearing.
The Nipah virus, a pathogen typically found in bats, is a member of the same family as the hepinavirus known as Langya. Similar to COVID, Nipah can be spread by respiratory droplets. However, Nipah is a fatal illness that claims lives.
Nipah is one of the viruses on the World Health Organization (WHO) list that could start the next pandemic.
The only available treatment for henipavirus is supportive care to manage problems because there is neither vaccination nor a cure.
Taiwan’s laboratories need a standardised nucleic acid testing method; to identify the virus so that human infections for monitoring, if necessary.
He gave specifics on the serological study done on domestic animals, noting that 2% of the goats and 5% of the canines tested positive.
The Langya henipavirus detected in 27% of the test subjects who were shrews, according to the results of tests on 25 wild animal species.
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