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Novel ‘Langya’ virus, brace for a new virus starting in China

Just when the world was getting back to normal and as if the effects of Covid were not enough, recent reports of new deadly viruses have emerged. First Monkeypox and now the latest entrant Henipavirus – better known as ‘Langya’ henipavirus (LayV) have called for a cause of concern.

Till now Langya virus has infected 35 people in Henan and Shandong provinces of China. The virus in itself is another type of zoonotic disease which is an infectious disease that mainly transmits from a vertebrate animal to humans much like the Wuhan virus where bats allegedly had a role to play. Interestingly, Langya was also detected in dogs as well as goats.

What is petrifying is the fact that the virus is part of the same family of viruses as that of the lethal Nipah virus. The virus family is known to kill up to three-quarters of those who have contracted any of the family’s viruses in case of severe infection. Luckily, no fresh cases have resulted in fatality yet with patients suffering only from mild forms having flu-like symptoms.

Currently, no vaccine or treatment for Langya virus is existing and the only solution is palliative or supportive care to tone down the complications.

Surprisingly, the first case of Langya virus was seen in human beings in 2019 with the majority of cases reported in 2022. The virus was obtained by taking the throat samples of febrile patients, as researchers have found that the most common symptom of the virus was fever followed by cough, fatigue, decrease in appetite, muscle pain, headache and a feeling of nausea. Diagnostically one may also observe a decrease in white blood cells and platelet count along with liver and kidney failure.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is trying to establish clarity on whether human-to-human transmission of the virus is possible as a case of this nature is yet to be reported and also cautioned people to keep their eyes and ears open to learn more about the further findings of the virus.

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