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Langya Virus Reported In China Causes Liver, Kidney Failure: Symptoms, Transmission And Its Link To Nipah

In China, 35 people have been found to be infected with the Langya virus, another Zoonotic virus. However, authorities stated that there was no close contact between the patients or a common history of exposure, suggesting that the human infection may be sporadic. Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are developing a nucleic acid testing method for identifying the virus and monitoring its spread [1].

According to a new study titled A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China, the new Henipavirus, also called Langya Henipavirus or LayV can be transmitted from animals to humans.

What Is The Langya Virus?

The new type of Henipavirus is also known as the LayV or Langya Henipavirus. A henipavirus is classified as a pathogen of biosafety level 4 (BSL4). Animals and humans can be affected by these viruses. Currently, no licenced drugs or vaccines are available for human use [2].

Langya virus is a zoonotic disease that spreads from animals to humans. The virus was first discovered in the North-eastern provinces of Shandong and Henan in 2018 and was officially detected late last week. The Henipavirus is associated with a febrile human illness and has also been detected in shrews, according to a study published in The New England Journal earlier this month [3].

Scientists report that several other types of Henipavirus are known to cause fatal diseases in humans, including Hendra, Nipah, Cedar, Mojiang, and the Ghanaian bat virus. In addition, bats, rodents, and shrews have been observed to carry other related henipaviruses [4].

How Does Langya Virus Spread?

It is believed that Langya was discovered in eastern China during surveillance testing of fever-affected patients who had recently been exposed to animals. Later, it was identified and isolated from a swab sample taken from one of these patients.

Langya virus spreads from animals to humans. There has been no report of human-to-human transmission of the virus; CDC officials cautioned that further information regarding the virus would be available shortly [5].

A contact tracing study of nine patients with 15 close family members revealed no transmission of Langya henipavirus through close contact.

What Are The Symptoms Of Langya Virus?

In the new study, 35 patients in China's Shandong and Henan provinces were identified as having acute Langya henipavirus infection. Among these patients, 26 were infected with Langya henipavirus alone, meaning no other pathogens were present [3].

The study indicated that all of the patients had a fever. The other symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Anorexia
  • Myalgia (pain in the muscles)
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Vomiting

There were also abnormalities observed in the patients, including thrombocytopenia (low platelet count in the blood), leukopenia (low white blood cell count in the blood), and abnormal liver and kidney function.

How Is Langya Virus Disease Treated?

Langya virus does not currently have a vaccine or treatment.

Langya Virus And Nipah Virus

A virus spreading by shrews, Langya henipavirus (LayV), was identified in 35 patients in China and is related to the extremely deadly Nipah virus. The Nipah virus and Langya virus are both henipavirus, which are considered biosafety level 4 viruses by the World Health Organization (WHO). Humans can get it from bats, pigs, contaminated food, or other humans [7][8].

Nipah virus symptoms include fever, headaches, myalgia, vomiting, sore throat, dizziness, and drowsiness. The patient may fall into a coma within 48 hours in serious cases.

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