China has discovered a potentially deadly new virus that was transmitted to humans by shrews, according to reports.
The Langya Henipavirus, known as “Langya”, has already infected 35 people, although no one has died or suffered serious illness, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control in Taiwan. Taipei Time.
The outlet also noted that the virus has so far been found in China’s Shandong and Henan provinces, and human-to-human transmission has yet to be reported.
Twenty-six of the patients were reportedly affected by flu-like symptoms, including fever, fatigue, cough, headache and vomiting.
The new virus belongs to the Henipavirus family, which includes two previously identified viruses, Hendra virus and Nipah virus. There is no vaccine, and in severe cases the death rate can be as high as 75%, according to the World Health Organization.
The development of the new henipavirus also appeared in a study titled “A zoonotic henipavirus in febrile patients in China” which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week.
“There was no close contact or common exposure history among the patients, suggesting that infection in the human population may be sporadic,” the study said.
The study found that of 25 species of small wild animals tested, the virus was mostly found in shrews (27%) and said this was “a finding that suggests the shrew may be a natural reservoir of LayV”.