A new virus that can infect people has been discovered

Langya virus, a new animal-derived henipa virus that can infect humans, was recently discovered in Shandong and Henan provinces. The virus can be transmitted from animals to humans and induce fatal disease, and 35 patients with acute infection have been identified so far. A paper on the findings was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Professor Liu Wei and Fang Liqun, Institute of Microbial Epidemiology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, Duke-NUS Medical School Professor Wang Linfa and other scholars pointed out in the study that during sentinel surveillance of febrile patients with a recent history of animal contact in eastern my country, a new type of Henipa virus was found in a patient’s throat swab sample. and named it the Langya virus. The strain of the virus belongs to a new strain on the phylogenetic tree, and is most related to the Henipa virus previously discovered in Mojiang County, Yunnan Province in terms of evolutionary relationship. Shrews may be the natural host of the virus. Thirty-five acute infection cases have been identified in Shandong and Henan provinces, of which 26 were only infected with Langya virus and no other pathogens were detected. The clinical symptoms of the 26 cases included fever, fatigue, cough, anorexia, myalgia, nausea, headache, and vomiting, accompanied by thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, and impaired liver and kidney functions. Henipavirus is one of the important emerging causes of zoonotic diseases in the Asia-Pacific region. Two viruses in this genus were previously known to infect humans, Hendra virus and Nipah virus, whose natural hosts are fruit bats. Both viruses cause severe disease in animals and humans and are classified as biosafety level 4 viruses with a case fatality rate of 40% to 75%. This study found that there was no history of close contact and common exposure between different patients, suggesting that the infection in the population may be sporadic. The World Health Organization pointed out that in the event of a suspected case of Henipa virus, isolation should be implemented as soon as possible, infection control measures should be taken, and public health authorities should be notified immediately. Currently, there is no vaccine or treatment for Henipa virus, and the only treatment is supportive care to manage complications.

Healthy Reporter Wang Qian

Editor: Yu Mengfei

Proofreading: Ma Yang

Review: Xu Bingnan, Yan Yan

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