Even though Covid-19 has not been completely eradicated, and the new monkeypox outbreak has raised concerns, a new type of animal-derived virus has been reported in China. The Henipavirus, also known as the ‘Langya’ henipavirus (LayV), has infected 35 people in eastern China’s Henan and Shandong provinces, according to the country’s official media on Tuesday.
Langya virus was discovered in throat samples taken from febrile patients in the aforementioned provinces.
There is currently no vaccine or treatment for the Langya virus, and the only option is supportive care to manage zoonotic disease complications.
Here’s everything we know about the Langya henipavirus so far.
What is Langya Virus?
The virus belongs to a family of viruses that can kill up to three-quarters of humans in severe cases. However, none of the new cases have been fatal, and the majority are mild, with patients experiencing flu-like symptoms. It is an example of a Zoonotic Henipavirus.
The virus is a member of the Henipavirus family. Henipavirus is classified as a biosafety Level 4 threat by the World Health Organization. According to data, case fatality rates range between 40% and 75%.
No death has been reported from LayV till now.
When was it first detected?
According to a previous study, the Langya virus was first detected in humans in 2019, with the majority of recent cases reported this year. Chinese researchers are still trying to figure out if the virus can spread from person to person.
Researchers from the Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology reported that no Langya virus infections were discovered during the first year of the pandemic, between January and July 2020, and that they were pausing work to combat the Covid-19 spread.
Why it is called Zoonotic Virus?
A zoonotic disease is one that is spread between species, either from animals to humans or from humans to animals.
Among the zoonotic viruses are Monkeypox, and COVID-19.
How did it originate?
The results of tests on more than two dozen wild animals indicate that the shrew, a small mole-like mammal, maybe a natural reservoir of LayV.
Existing patients had a history of animal contact, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Symptoms of Langya Virus
Fever, fatigue, cough, loss of appetite, muscle pain, nausea, headache, and vomiting are all symptoms of LayV.
Severity of Langya Virus
Langya is related to the deadly Nipah virus, which is typically found in bats. Nipah, like Covid-19, spreads through respiratory droplets but is far more dangerous, killing up to three-quarters of humans. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified Nipah as the most likely virus to cause the next pandemic.