A new virus called Langrya has been identified by scientists after researchers recorded multiple cases in China.
Langya henipavirus, also know as LayV, was first detected in the north-eastern provinces of Shandong and Henan in late 2018, though the virus was only properly identified by scientists last week.
So far, Langrya doesn’t seem to be spreading as rapidly as Covid-19 and it has not been linked to deaths. The virus has affected 35 people, though none of those people have become severely ill or died, data from Taiwan’s Centres for Disease Control (CDC) found.
What is the virus?
The infection is believed to have been passed to humans by shrews, according to research. The virus was tested in wild animals and LayV was identified in more than a quarter of 262 shrews. The infection was also found in 2% of domestic goats and 5% of dogs.
Where and how many cases are there?
The virus was first identified in China and so far 35 people are known to have been infected. It’s been found in China’s Shandong and Henan provinces and no human-to-human transmission has yet to be reported.
Last week, investigations into the infections were first defined in correspondence published by scientists from China, Singapore and Australia in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
What are the symptoms?
The majority (26) of those with the infections have reported flu-like symptoms including:
Is it serious and is it spreading?
Of the 35 people infected no one has died or had a serious illness. “There was no close contact or common exposure history among the patients, which suggests that the infection in the human population may be sporadic,” researchers in a study titled A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China said.
Tracking of the virus is ongoing.