Dozens in China infected with Langya virus found in shrews

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
A Uniqlo clothing store in Changzhou, China.
A Uniqlo clothing store in Changzhou, China.
Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty I
  • The Langya virus, found in shrews, has been detected in more than 30 people in China. 
  • Patients reported symptoms that include fever, fatigue, cough, nausea and headaches.
  • Cases of Langya have so far not been fatal or very serious.


Dozens of people in China have fallen ill with a new virus that is also found in shrews, a report has said, but there is so far no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

The infections were found in China's eastern Shandong and central Henan provinces, affecting 35 people, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine this month.

READ | Pair of new studies point to natural Covid origin

The virus is called Langya henipavirus or LayV, and patients reported symptoms that include fever, fatigue, cough, nausea and headaches.

Some people also developed blood cell abnormalities and impaired liver and kidney functions, the report said.

Research findings suggested shrews may be a natural reservoir for the pathogen.

According to the report:

There was no close contact or common exposure history among the patients, which suggests that the infection in the human population may be sporadic.

But it also cautioned that its sample size "was too small to determine the status of human-to-human transmission for LayV".

Patients were mostly farmers and cases were found with help from a detection system for people with acute fever and a history of animal exposure, it added.

Further investigation is needed to better understand illnesses associated with the virus, according to the researchers in China, Singapore and Australia who were involved in the paper.

Cases of Langya henipavirus have so far not been fatal or very serious, Linfa Wang of the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, told Chinese state outlet Global Times.

Wang was one of the researchers involved in writing the paper.

Zoonoses are animal diseases that transmit to humans, and comprise a large percentage of new and existing diseases in people, according to the World Health Organization.

Some are preventable through vaccination, while others mutate into human-only strains or cause recurring outbreaks.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
6% - 315 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
82% - 3953 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
12% - 579 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
18.07
-0.7%
Rand - Pound
20.13
-0.9%
Rand - Euro
17.69
-0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.62
+0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.5%
Gold
1,665.35
+0.3%
Silver
19.06
+1.3%
Palladium
2,180.50
-1.1%
Platinum
866.50
-0.2%
Brent Crude
88.49
-0.9%
Top 40
57,390
+0.8%
All Share
63,726
+0.7%
Resource 10
60,230
+0.7%
Industrial 25
77,400
+0.8%
Financial 15
13,796
+0.7%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE