The Zoonotic Langya Virus: Everything You Need to Know About the New Contagion That Has Infected 35 People in China

At least 35 people in two regions of China have been infected with the new infectious strain of the Zoonotic Langya virus, also known as LayV.

The mainland Henan and Shandong regions of China have reported cases of the outbreak, according to Taiwan’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Investigation into the primary infections revealed that the infections were infrequent, the cases were scattered, and there was no evidence of community transmission.

What is the Zoonotic Langya Virus?

The Zoonotic Langya virus, also known as LayV, is a novel henipavirus that mostly spreads from animal to animal. However, after 35 human infections were identified in China, health authorities are now concerned about its human-associated dissemination.

Meanwhile, the results of 25 wild animal species tests revealed that a small insectivorous mammal called a shrew, which looks like a mouse, could be the natural host of the Langya henipavirus.

According to the CDC official, the virus was found in roughly 27% of the tested shrew subjects.

This occurs at a time when China is battling to put an end to occasional coronavirus outbreaks, which started in Hebei earlier this year.

Beijing declared a number of strict lockdowns in accordance with the zero-COVID Policy, forcing 11 million residents of the province to stay inside.

Eventually, Shanghai reported a new escalation in cases, which compelled Beijing to put severe restrictions on citizens.

Following a COVID outbreak, the Xi Jinping-led Chinese authorities imposed restrictions on the beach city of Sanya on Monday, detaining at least 80,000 tourists.

Zoonotic Langya Virus symptoms

Out of the 35 individuals, 26 had only the Langya virus as their only infection. The 26 infected people showed symptoms like body aches, fever, coughing, and colds, as well as a decrease in white blood cells.

The specialists indicated that the virus might cause a decline in platelet count, more liver and kidney damage, and ultimately death.

People are urged by experts to “pay close attention” to LayV updates

Taiwanese health experts have also advised people to take steps to avoid community spread, even if no cases of human-to-human transmission have occurred yet. The CDC has not yet determined whether the aforementioned virus can spread from person to person.

Chuang Jen-Hsiang, the deputy director general of the Taiwan CDC, told Taipei News that locals need to “pay close attention” to further information on the virus.

Domestic animals test positive for Zoonotic Langya virus

Many domestic and wild animals tested positive for the LayV virus, according to a serological study done by the Taiwan CDC. At least 25 different kinds of wild animals, 2% of tested goats, and 5% of tested canines all tested positive for the new henipavirus strain.

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