After reports of a new virus in China’s People’s Republic, health authorities are on alert.
According to Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control, at least 35 people have been infected with Langya henipavirus in China’s Shandong or Henan provinces of the northeast.
The agency cited a study by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) titled “A Zoonotic Henipavirus In Febrile Patients in China”.
Researchers who studied LayV infections discovered that symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle soreness and fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and cough were all common to the flu.
26 of the 35 patients were infected only with LayV, which means there was no other pathogen.
Researchers wrote that 26 patients had fever (100%), fatigue (54%), anorexia (50%), anorexia (45%), myalgia (46%), nausea (38%), headache (35%), and dizziness (35%). They also experienced abnormalities in thrombocytopenia (35%), lymphopenia (54%), impaired liver (35%), kidney (8%) and liver (35%).
According to the study’s summary, LayV patients infected with HIV had a “recent past of animal exposure in east China,”
The new virus was detected by medical experts using throat swab samples. These were then subject to “metagenomic analysis” and virus isolation.
LayV’s genome is said to be composed of 18,402 nucleotides. It also has an identical genome organization as other Paramyxoviridae henipaviruses. This family is also known as single-strandedRNA viruses.
According to the NEJM study, henipaviruses are capable of infecting humans and causing fatal diseases. These viruses are most commonly found in rodents, bats, and shrews.
LayV has not been transmitted from one person to another and patients have never come into close contact.
Researchers wrote that “The infection in humans may be sporadic.” “Contact tracing of nine patients with close-contact relatives revealed no LayV transmission. However, our sample was too small to assess the status of LayV human-to-human transmission.”
Further studies are needed to determine if LayV might have a cross-reaction to the Mojiang virus. This is another henipavirus which can cause fatal pneumonia.