A new animal virus with human infection potential has been discovered in China

CHINA- Health experts are on high alert citing concerns about the emergence of a new virus in the People’s Republic of China.

The virus does not appear to be particularly contagious or lethal, and scientists claim they are not unduly concerned as all the patients have survived.

According to Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control, at least 35 persons have contracted the Langya henipavirus (LayV) in China’s Shandong and Henan provinces in the northeast.

Researchers that followed the infections discovered that symptoms of LayV, including fever, coughing, headaches, painful muscles, exhaustion, nausea, and loss of appetite, appear to be comparable to those of the flu.

The patients that were evaluated didn’t appear to disseminate the virus to close contacts and neither did they have histories of frequent exposures.

There is also no evidence of human-to-human transmission. Accordingly, Langya infections seem to be rare and infrequent.

Human henipavirus outbreaks have been recorded in northern Australia and Southeast Asia; human Nipah virus outbreaks were first noted in Malaysia and Singapore in 1999 and are yearly reported in India and Bangladesh.

Henipaviruses have been recovered from pteropid bats throughout Central and South America, Asia, Oceania, and East Africa.

Pteropid bats are widespread in the tropics and subtropics, though. Since 1994, reports of the Hendra virus in Australia’s eastern states have occurred almost yearly.

The cases of Langya virus, a new type of henipavirus, were documented from 2018 to 2021. There are no signs of human-to-human spread.

The first Langya virus sample was discovered in late 2018 from a farmer in Shandong province who sought medical attention for a fever.

Emerging infections like the Nipah and Hendra viruses are extremely deadly and often lethal to humans, causing epidemics.

There are three other kinds that are not known to harm humans: the Mojiang virus, the Ghanaian bat virus, and the cedar virus.

In order to identify the likely animal source of the virus, scientists looked for antibodies against LayV in cattle, dogs, pigs, and goats.

The animals were living in the villages of afflicted patients as well as in tissue and urine samples from 25 species of wild small animals.

A small number of goats and dogs had LayV antibodies, and 27% of the 262 tested shrews had LayV viral RNA.

Henipaviruses can infect humans and cause fatal diseases, according to The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)study. These viruses are typically found in bats, rodents and shrews.

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