Chinese media on Sunday, Aug. 7, reported that microbiologists in Beijing and Qingdao had found a new virus in Shandong and Henan called Langya henipavirus. At least 35 people are infected. Microbiologists said this virus could be fatal, and genomic testing suggests that shrews may be the natural host for the virus. The authoritative medical journal “NEJM” published this research report last Thursday, Aug. 4.
Most of the patients are farmers. All of them had fever symptoms, and half suffered from fatigue, cough, loss of appetite, and lower white blood cell count, accompanied by impaired liver function and renal function. No deaths have been reported at this stage.
The study found no evidence of human-to-human transmission, and it is temporarily impossible to conclude whether the Langya virus can be transmitted from person to person.
According to Taiwan’s “Sanli News Network,” Huang Limin is the National Taiwan University Children’s Hospital director and an infectious disease physician.
Huang said that in the face of emerging infectious diseases with unknown clusters, the best way in the initial stage is to contain them, such as isolation and rat trapping or reminding locals to avoid contact with possible sources of infection.
Huang said that the Langya virus may mutate in the future and will be more adapted to the human immune system. Once it develops into an adult-to-human disease, it may spread worldwide like the current pandemic, and the fatality rate will be higher. However, he believes it is impossible to accurately assess this new virus’s risk.
Some mainland netizens left a message saying: “Langya virus? Is it true or false? I didn’t see the slightest discussion.”
China has not officially announced the outbreak.