Taiwan sounds alarm over new virus emerging in China


Taiwan has sounded the alarm over over a newly detected virus called the “Langya” virus reported News.com.au, citing Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The  virus has reportedly infected 35 people so far in two provinces in eastern China said Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

According to the news report the virus - officially named Langya henipavirus (LayV),  has not infected humans before.

However, it is in the Henipavirus family, of which two species have been identified before - the Hendra virus and Nipah virus.

These produce often severe and fatal illnesses in people - and there are no vaccines or treatments.

The Langya henipavirus (LayV), also known as Langya virus, is a species of henipavirus first detected in the Chinese provinces of Shandong and Henan in December 2018.

All but 9 of the 35 cases in China were infected with LayV only, with symptoms such as fever, fatigue, and coughing. No deaths have been reported due to LayV so far.

Langya henipavirus affects humans as well as other animals species, including shrews - its presumed original host. The 35 cases were not in contact with each other, and it is not yet known if the virus is capable of human-to-human transmission, which hasn't been reported for now.

In an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), scientists in China reported that the patients were tested because they were febrile.

The paper said: “There was no close contact or common exposure history among the patients, which suggests that the infection in the human population may be sporadic.

“Contact tracing of nine patients with 15 close-contact family members revealed no close-contact LayV transmission.

“But our sample size was too small to determine the status of human-to-human transmission for LayV.”