New type of henipavirus identified - Langya

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An international team of scientists identified a new virus that was likely to have been transmitted to humans after it first infected animals, in another potential zoonotic spillover less than three years into the Coronavirus pandemic.

A peer-reviewed study published in the New England Journal of Medicine detailed the discovery of the Langya virus after it was observed in 35 patient samples collected in two eastern Chinese provinces. The researchers — based in China, Singapore and Australia — did not find evidence that the virus transmitted between people, citing in part the small sample size available. But they hypothesized that shrews, small mammals that subsist on insects, could have hosted the virus before it infected humans.

Genetic sequencing of the virus subsequently showed that the pathogen is part of the henipavirus family, which has five other known viruses. Two are considered highly virulent and are associated with high case-fatality ratios, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But none of the Langya patients died, the study stated.

Among the 35 patients, 26 were found to be infected only with the Langya virus. All of the 26 had a fever, with around half showing fatigue, decreased white blood cell count and cough. More severe symptoms include impaired kidney and liver functions.
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This is concerning news. It is concerning to think that a new virus, part of the henipavirus family, which has two highly virulent viruses, could have been transmitted to humans. It is even more concerning that there were 26 patients infected with just the Langya virus, considering the severity of symptoms like impaired kidney and liver functions. We should be aware of this new virus and continue to monitor it closely in case it mutates and spreads quickly.

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