An international team of scientists is tracking a newly identified and potentially dangerous virus that has been transmitted from animals to humans in northeastern China, infecting at least 35 people.
Langya henipavirus, also known as ‘Langya’ or ‘LayV’, was first detected in 2018 in a 53-year-old farmer who sought treatment for a fever at a hospital in northeastern China’s Shandong province. Subsequent investigations conducted between 2018 and 2021 revealed 34 more cases in Shandong and neighboring Henan.
Since there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission yet, and the majority of those infected are farmers, researchers hypothesized that the outbreak may be the result of animal-to-human transmission of the virus. . zoonotic Spillover.
newly named virusthe findings are detailed in an August 4 study published in New England Journal of Medicine (opens in new tab)belongs to the henipavirus family, the same family of viruses as the deadly Nipah and Hendra viruses. world health organization (opens in new tab) (WHO). The latter virus rarely infects humans, but has an estimated fatality rate of 57%. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (opens in new tab) (CDC). There is no licensed vaccine against henipavirus for humans.
Thankfully, Langya infections have so far been relatively mild, with patients exhibiting symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, vomiting, and muscle aches. develop renal signs, liver Although there have been injuries, no deaths have been reported so far.
“At this stage, LayV COVID-19 But it is a further reminder of the looming threat posed by the many pathogens circulating in wild and domestic populations that can infect humans. biology University College London system not involved in research, wrote on twitter (opens in new tab) August 9.
Of the 25 species of wild animals examined, shrews were the most frequently positive for the virus, and 27% of the 262 small mole-like animals examined had the virus in their tissues and urine, the scientists in the study found. This makes shrews a potential natural host for the virus and was also present in some livestock, including 5% of dogs and 2% of goats studied. rice field.
There is no evidence of human-to-human transmission, but researchers say it cannot be ruled out.
“Although contact tracing of 9 patients with family members of 15 close contacts did not reveal LayV infection among close contacts, our sample size was limited to the human-to-human transmission status. was too small to determine ,” the researchers wrote in their paper.
Scientists who study zoonotic diseases have warned about ramifications like this and the events that led to COVID-19. pandemicmore likely deforestationurbanization and human-induced shrinkage of natural habitats climate change continue. In fact, three out of four of his new or emerging human infections are of animal origin. CDC (opens in new tab)and over 500,000 viruses may already spreadLive Science previously reported.
Originally published in Live Science.
Newly discovered Langya virus infects 35 people in China
Source link Newly discovered Langya virus infects 35 people in China
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