Scientists are closely monitoring a new infectious virus named Langya that has infected 35 people in China’s Shandong and Henan provinces.
First identified last week in a letter published by the New England Journal of Medicine, the Langya henipavirus (LayV) was traced back to the first few cases in 2018. According to preliminary findings, the virus appears to be passed on from shrews to humans.
Researchers noted that there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus as of now and that it was found in over 25 percent of shrews. It was also found in 5% of dogs and 2% of domestic goats.
The 35 people infected with the virus had a fever and most also had other symptoms including coughing, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, headaches and myalgia.
Taiwanese health authorities announced Sunday that they were closely monitoring the new virus and developing a method for quick genome sequencing.
This being said, Prof. Wang Lin-Fa of Duke–National University of Singapore Medical School, who participated in the research, told China’s Global Times news site that there had not been any fatal cases, describing the symptoms as not serious. But Wang added that the virus could still act in unpredictable ways when given a human host.