After Covid, new zoonotic virus hits China, 35 people infected: Reporttext_fields
While the world continues to battle the COVID-19 crisis and the monkeypox infection, a new "animal-derived" virus has emerged in China, raising concerns among health experts. The virus, Henipavirus, has so far infected 35 people in China, mostly in the Shandong and Henan provinces, official media here reported on Tuesday.
The new type of Henipavirus (also named Langya henipavirus, LayV) was found in throat swab samples from febrile patients in eastern China, state-run Global Times quoted media reports.
Scholars who participated in the study pointed out that this newly discovered Henipavirus, which may have come from animals, is associated with some febrile cases, and the infected people have symptoms including fever, fatigue, cough, anorexia, myalgia, and nausea.
There is currently no vaccine or treatment for Henipavirus and the only treatment is supportive care to manage complications.
Authorities said, the patients 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.
The cases of Langya henipavirus so far have not been fatal or very serious, so there is no need for panic, Wang Linfa, a Professor in the Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS Medical School who was involved in the study said, adding that it is still a cause for alert as many viruses that exist in nature have unpredictable results when they infect humans.
Further investigation found that 26 out of 35 cases of Langya Henipavirus infection in Shandong and Henan provinces have developed clinical symptoms such as fever, irritability, cough, anorexia, myalgia, nausea, headache, and vomiting, the report said.