While the world is still dealing with the response to the covid pandemic, an international team of scientists has reported infections of a new virus in China, which is likely to have been transmitted to humans after it first infected animals.
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.
The first Langya virus sample was detected in late 2018 from a farmer in Shandong province who sought treatment for a fever. Over a roughly two-year period, 34 other people were found to have been infected in Shandong and neighboring Henan, with the vast majority being farmers.
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.
What is concerning is that the virus is similar to the deadly Nipah virus.
The Nipah virus is zoonotic, having evolved in fruit bats. It is able to be transmitted to humans via animals like bats or pigs, contaminated foods, and between humans.
It is fatal in between 40 to 75 percent of cases. The fatality rate, however, varies on local capabilities.
Legal Insurrection readers may recall I detailed India’s successful battle against a Nipah virus outbreak late last year. I contrasted it with Biden’s ludicrous notion he could contain the uncontainable coronavirus.
The good news is that the new virus does not appear to be spreading quickly, and no fatalities have been reported.
Langya henipavirus — or LayV — was detected in 35 people in the country’s eastern Henan and Shandong provinces between December 2018 and mid-2021.
This means the virus has only infected only a handful of people each year since it was first identified in a 53-year-old female farmer.
It was revealed for the first time last week in a research paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, sparking fears about another mysterious flu-like virus.
But Professor Francis Balloux, an infectious disease expert at University College London, said the current data suggested the virus ‘is not spreading fast in humans’.
He added there was little evidence LayV can spread easily between people, which means it has a low pandemic potential.
According to reported research and contact tracing, human-to-human transmission is not occurring.
Out of the 26 people not co-infected with another pathogen, the most common symptoms were fever, fatigue, cough, anorexia, myalgia, nausea, headache and vomiting.
Contact tracing of nine patients with 15 family members did not find any human-to-human transmission.
“In order to really be something we should be worried about … it’s got to be able to transmit between people,” Emily Gurley, epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “There’s no evidence from this report that person-to-person transmission is happening.”
…Scientists also found the virus in some domestic goats and dogs, however, they hypothesized it may have originated in wild shrews where it was predominately detected.
Hopefully, the Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers have not started gain-of-function research with the Langya virus samples.DONATE
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