‘LANGYA VIRUS’: Another case of Zoonotic Spillover

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A novel zoonotic virus called Langya virus has infected 35 individuals in China. Another name for this novel henipavirus is LayV. Henipaviruses are categorized as pathogens that fall within biosafety level-4. They can lead to serious sickness in both people and animals. There are no approved medications or vaccinations for use in humans.

WARNING! After Covid, another virus ‘Zoonotic Langya’ found in China; many infected | DNAIndiaNews

A study that was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the recently identified virus is a “phylogenetically different Henipavirus” detected in febrile patients. Fever is a documented side effect of Langya. In eastern China, surveillance testing on individuals with fever led to the discovery of Langya. It was found in the swab sample taken from the throat of the infected individuals.

The test subjects complained of fatigue, coughing, and nausea. Others are also experiencing headaches and vomiting. The study discovered that while few patients’ renal functions were damaged, more than 30% of patients had compromised liver function.

The fatal Nipah virus, which is commonly found in bats, is related to Langya. A quarter of the 262 shrews, which are tiny mammals that resemble moles, have the highest concentration of the Virus-RNA. This suggests that they could be the virus’s natural hosts.

Goats (2%) and dogs (5%) were found to be seropositive among domesticated animals. In late 2018, the new LayV was first discovered in the northeastern Shandong and Henan regions. However, scientists publicly identified it in the last week. Whether the virus can spread between humans is still a mystery. The Taiwanese agency declared that genome sequencing would be put into practice. 

Experts in infectious diseases have long cautioned that environmental degradation and the climate crisis will increase the likelihood of “zoonotic spillover.” This, in turn, has increased the transmission of viruses to humans. The sole option for managing Langya virus consequences at the moment is supportive care because there is no vaccination or therapy available yet. 

ABHIJEET ANAND

Sociologist, Engineer, and Content writer

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