Langya Henipavirus: China Discovers New Virus Passed To Humans From Shrews

Even while the world contends with the coronavirus, which reportedly originated from China, the spectre of a mother virus looms. The Asian country has discovered what has been described as a potentially fatal new virus from shrews to humans.

A report in the Taipei Press indicates that the Langya Henipavirus, known as “Langya,” has already infected 35 people, although no deaths have resulted from any of those yet. Of the 39 people, 26 have been experiencing flu-like symptoms, including headache, vomiting, tiredness and fever – somewhat similar to the coronavirus.

Shandong and Henan are two provinces in China where the virus has been found so far. There’s no documented case of human-to-human transmission yet, however.

“Langya” is of the Henipavirus family. Already, two viruses have been identified in that family, and they are the Hendra virus and the Nipah virus.

There is no vaccine for the “Langya” yet. Even more interesting, a recent study indicates that there is no close contact among those infected with the virus. In that sense, infections must have been random.

Amid the spectre of “Langya,” health officials are calling for caution from members of the public, especially from those who might think it no big deal to handle shrews at this time.

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