Langya virus no cause for concern

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There is no cause for special concern from the new Langya virus detected in China, the Ministry of Health said, as it closely monitors the situation.

After reports that the virus was located in China, the ministry said the new virus, Langya Henipavirus (LayV), was identified after febrile incidents were examined following exposure to animals in the eastern China district.

The new virus was identified in 35 individuals in the Shandong and Henan districts between April 2018 and August 2021.

According to the Ministry of Health, the new virus is transmitted from animals to humans.

Henipavirus is a new genus of paramyxovirus that uses protein-based receptors (EphrinB2 and EphrinB3) for virus entry.

A serosurvey of domestic animals detected seropositivity in goats (in 2% of the tested sera) and dogs (5% of the tested sera.)

In addition, wild rodent and shrew samples were tested for LayV infection. Viral RNA was detected in three rodents and two shrew species, predominantly in Crocidura lasiura shrews.

The ministry said that the main symptoms of the virus are fever, fatigue, coughing, anorexia, myalgia, nausea and headache.

It added that some patients suffered haematological disorders such as leukopenia, thrombocytopenia and liver and kidney function changes, with the majority of patients (85%) being predominantly farmers who had been exposed to animals within one month of the onset of their symptoms.

However, the ministry clarified that currently, there are no indications that the virus can be spread from human to human, although this possibility cannot be ruled out.

Further research will be required to understand the modes of transmission of LayV.

And no death has been reported due to Langya, which may indicate the low severity of the disease.