Now Langya virus detected in China; can cause kidney, liver failure; 35 infected

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Believe it or not, yet another virus with a weird name has cropped up in China. The Zoonotic ‘Langya virus’ has infected at least 35 people in China, according to reports.

The patients, officials said, did not have close contact with each other or common exposure history, suggesting that human infections might be sporadic. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are currently establishing a nucleic acid testing method to identify and check the spread of the virus.

Langya virus is a newly detected virus and therefore, Taiwan’s laboratories will require a standardized nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus, so that human infections could be monitored, if needed, Taiwan’s CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said.

What is Langya henipavirus?

The Langya henipavirus, which has been found in China’s Shandong and Henan provinces, can be transmitted from animals to humans.

Human-to-human transmission of the virus has not been reported however at the same time he said that CDC has yet to determine whether the virus can be transmitted among humans and cautioned people to pay close attention to further updates about the virus, Chuang said.

Providing details of the serological survey conducted on domestic animals, he said that 2 percent of the tested goats and 5 percent of the tested dogs were positive.

The test results of 25 wild animal species suggest that the shrew (a small insectivorous mammal resembling a mouse) might be a natural reservoir of the Langya henipavirus, as the virus was found in 27 percent of the shrew subjects, the CDC Deputy DG said.

What are the symptoms of Langya virus?

Some of the patients who have been infected with the virus developed symptoms including fever, fatigue, a cough, loss of appetite, muscle pain, nausea, headache and vomiting.

They also showed a decrease in white blood cells. low platelet count, liver failure and kidney failure.

Where was the virus first detected?

A study titled “A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China” that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday said that a new henipavirus associated with a fever-causing human illness was identified in China.

The investigation identified 35 patients with acute infection of the Langya henipavirus in China’s Shandong and Henan provinces, and that 26 of them were infected with the Langya virus only, with no other pathogens.

Agencies