A team of researchers from China, Australia, and Singapore, have discovered an outbreak of a new virus called Langya from shrews, which has already affected about 35 persons in Eastern China.
The scientists gave the symptoms of the Langya henipavirus (LayV) to be acute fever, fatigue, cough, and loss of appetite. While some patients also had body aches, nausea, vomiting, and headaches.
According to the letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, where the scientists revealed their findings, it was stated that several patients also reported impaired liver function.
This comes with the prevalence of COVID-19 resurgence across the globe, along with the outbreak of multinational Monkeypox, with the latest figures from the World Health Organisation showing over 12 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the African continent, with more than 11 million recoveries & 256,000 deaths cumulatively. In comparison, Nigeria has recorded a total of 156 confirmed cases of Monkeypox from 1 January to 31 July 2022.
Findings from Asian scientists show that LayV is a zoonotic infection likely transmitted to humans from animals in eastern China.
According to the statement, Lay was first identified in a 53-year-old woman in December 2018 during surveillance of patients with an acute fever and a recent history of animal exposure.
Further investigation on the origin of the viral infection revealed Langya RNA was most predominant in shrews, small mammals with long snouts and tiny eyes.
The survey result shows that 27 percent of shrews tested positive for the virus, indicating that the animals may be “a natural reservoir of LayV”.
A further breakdown of the survey findings revealed that 5 percent of dogs and 2 percent of goats also tested positive.
Although the outbreak of LayV is limited to Eastern China, for now, it is an indication for other countries to be surveillance ready to prevent the spread of the infection to nations.
Speaking on the development, a professor at Singapore’s Duke-NUS Medical School, Wang Linfa, who was involved in the study, said the cases of LayV infection had not been fatal or very serious. Thus allaying panic from the people.