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Researchers Claim New Langya Virus Found In China Could Be ‘Tip Of The Iceberg’ For Undiscovered Pathogens

Researchers Claim New Langya Virus Found In China Could Be 'Tip Of The Iceberg' For Undiscovered Pathogens

Researchers Claim New Langya Virus Found In China Could Be ‘Tip Of The Iceberg’ For Undiscovered Pathogens

Researchers Claim New Langya Virus Found In China Could Be ‘Tip Of The Iceberg’ For Undiscovered Pathogens

A new virus found in dozens of people in eastern China demonstrates how easy viruses can spread undetected from animals to humans, and scientists say further research and monitoring are required.

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According to a group of experts, the virus, known as Langya henipavirus, affected over three dozen farmers and other locals. The scientists think the virus may have moved from shrews to people either directly or indirectly. Shrews are tiny mammals that resemble moles and can be found in a range of settings.

The bacterium was found in 35 unrelated fever patients at hospitals in Shandong and Henan provinces between 2018 and 2021, the scientists said, although no recorded deaths were caused by it.

The finding reveals that animal viruses are regularly getting transmitted undetected into people around the world.

Researchers Claim New Langya Virus Found In China Could Be ‘Tip Of The Iceberg’ For Undiscovered Pathogens

Up to 26 of those infected with the virus that is reportedly passed on from shrews appear to be suffering from flu-like symptoms.

These include fever, tiredness, cough, headache, and vomiting.

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“We are hugely underestimating the number of these zoonotic cases in the world, and this (Langya virus) is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Virus expert Leo Poon, a professor at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health.

While the virus was only formally discovered last week, it was first detected in the northeastern Chinese provinces mentioned above back in 2018.

Researchers Claim New Langya Virus Found In China Could Be ‘Tip Of The Iceberg’ For Undiscovered Pathogens

The US CDC is currently monitoring the virus spread and is reportedly in the process of setting up domestic laboratories for genome sequencing and boosted surveillance according to reports.

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Researchers have also kept tabs on “Lanya” to find out more about the novel disease.

In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week, an international team of researchers found that “the shrew may be a natural reservoir” for the virus after finding LayV viral RNA in more than 25 percent of 262 shrews when conducting testing on the animals.


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