What is this new Langya virus and should I be concerned?

A new virus, rangya henipavirus, Suspected In about two years until 2021, 35 people are said to have been infected in Shandong and Henan provinces in China.

It is related to the Hendra and Nipah viruses that cause disease in humans. But there’s a lot we don’t know about the new virus (known as LayV for short), including whether it can be transmitted from person to person.

Here’s what we know so far.

How sick are people?

Chinese researchers first detected the new virus as part of routine surveillance of people with fever who recently reported contact with animals. Once the virus was identified, researchers looked for it in other people.

The symptoms reported were mostly mild, including fever, fatigue, cough, loss of appetite, myalgia, nausea, and headache, but it is not known how long the patient remained unwell.

Very few had more serious complications, such as pneumonia and abnormal liver or kidney function. However, the severity of these abnormalities, the need for hospitalization, and whether there are fatal cases were not reported.

Where did this virus come from?

The authors also investigated whether domestic or wild animals could have been the source of the virus. They found a small number of goats and dogs that may have been infected with the virus in the past, but there was more direct evidence that a significant proportion of wild shrews carried the virus.

This suggests that humans may have transmitted the virus from wild shrews.

Does this virus really cause this disease?

Researchers used the latest technology known as Metagenome analysis to find this new virus. Researchers sequence all genetic material, discarding “known” sequences (e.g., human DNA) in search of “unknown” sequences that may represent new viruses.

This raises the question of how scientists can determine whether a particular virus is causing disease.

We traditionallyKoch’s postulate“To determine whether a particular microorganism causes disease:

  • It must be found in the sick, not in the healthy

  • Must be able to isolate from sick people

  • An isolate from a sick person must cause disease when given to a healthy person (or animal)

  • After falling ill, we must be able to re-isolate from healthy people.

The authors acknowledge that this new virus has not yet met these criteria, and the relevance of these criteria in modern times is Asked.

However, the authors say they found no other cause of the disease in 26. There was evidence that the immune system reacted to the virus in 14 people, and those who were sicker had more virus. was

What can we learn from related viruses?

This new virus appears to be a close relative of two other viruses important to humans, the Nipah and Hendra viruses. This virus family is the inspiration for the movie’s fictional MEV-1 virus. contagion.

Hendra virus first report 14 horses and trainers died in Queensland in 1994. big rail.

Since then, a number of horse outbreaks have been reported in Queensland and northern New South Wales and are commonly believed to be caused by ‘spread’ infections from flying foxes.

In total, seven human cases of Hendra virus have been reported report In Australia (mainly by veterinarians who treat sick horses), it includes four deaths.

read more: Explainer: Why is the Hendra virus so dangerous?

Nipah virus is more important Frequent outbreaks have been reported in Bangladesh.

Infections vary in severity from very mild to fatal encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

The first outbreaks in Malaysia and Singapore were report People who have had close contact with pigs.but it is idea Recent outbreaks have been due to food contaminated with infected bat urine and saliva.

Importantly, the Nipah virus Sent From person to person, mainly between family contacts.

read more: Humans are to blame for the rise in dangerous viral infections

What do I need to know next?

Little is known about this new virus and the currently reported cases may be the tip of the iceberg.

At this stage, there are no indications that the virus can spread from person to person.

More work is needed to determine how serious the infection is, how it spreads, and how widespread it may be in China and the region.

read more: The next global health pandemic could easily happen in your backyard

Update: This article has been updated to state that cases have been detected for approximately two years through 2021.

Author: Allen Cheng – Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Monash University What is this new Langya virus and should I be concerned?

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