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A new Langya zoonotic henipavirus discovered in China





An international team of scientists has identified a new virus that likely infected humans after first infecting animals, in another potential zoonotic disease less than three years after the coronavirus pandemic. .

Peer-reviewed study A paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine details the finding of Langya virus in 35 patient samples collected in two provinces in eastern China. Researchers based in China, Singapore and Australia found no evidence that the virus was transmitted between humans, in part due to the small sample sizes available. But they hypothesized that shrews, small insect-eating mammals, may have hosted the virus before it infected humans.

The first Langya virus sample was detected in late 2018 from a farmer in Shandong province seeking treatment for a fever.more than roughly In the last two years, 34 other cases were found in Shandong and neighboring Henan provinces, most of them farmers.

Subsequently, viral gene sequencing showed that the pathogen was part of a virus. henipavirus family, and five other known viruses. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the two are considered highly virulent and deadly. However, none of the Langya patients died, the study said.

The next pandemic is already here unless humans change how they interact with wildlife, scientists say

Of the 35 patients, 26 were found to be exclusively infected with rangya virus. All 26 had fever, and about half had fatigue, low white blood cell count, and cough. More serious symptoms include impaired kidney and liver function.

Researchers also tested 25 species of small wild animals for Langyavirus.Its genetic material was ‘predominantly detected’ in shrews, leading the team to suggest small mammals. It is the “natural host” of the virus.

Disease surveillance did not indicate a common source of exposure among infected persons, nor did it indicate close contact between infected persons, suggesting that human infection may have occurred “sporadically”. The researchers write that it suggests

Francois Balloux, a professor of computational systems biology at University College London who was not involved in the study, said the Langya virus “doesn’t look like a repeat of Covid-19.”He twitter The new virus is much less lethal than other henipaviruses and “probably not easily transmitted from person to person”.

But the findings are “further reminders of the looming threat posed by the many pathogens circulating in wild and domestic populations that can infect humans,” Balloux added.

The shedding of viruses from animals to humans is not uncommon. About 70% of emerging human diseases are zoonotic, and nearly 1.7 million undiscovered viruses may exist in mammals and birds, according to scientists. The highly lethal Hendra and Nipah viruses can be transmitted through close contact with sick horses, pigs and bats.

Scientists who study zoonotic diseases say that even before the coronavirus pandemic, practices such as unregulated wildlife trade, deforestation and urbanization brought people closer to animals, increasing the risk of virus spread. I warned you that the chances are high.

Karin Brulliard contributed to this report.




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