According to official Chinese media, people have so far been infected with a novel kind of henipavirus originated from animals in the provinces of Shandong and Henan.
According to sources, the newly discovered henipavirus, also known as the langya henipavirus or LayV, was discovered in throat swab samples taken from febrile patients in eastern China, according to state-run Global Times.
“This virus is in the same genus as the Nipah virus, and so far these cases have not been fatal or very serious. So, it’s fair to say that (we) should be vigilant, not panic, about this new virus,” Wang Linfa of the National University of Singapore School of Medicine, told the Chinese digital newspaper The Paper on Sunday.
“But we need to be careful because there are more similar viruses in nature, if a different virus jumps to humans, the situation may be different,” Wang said.
According to Wang Linfa, a Professor in the Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS Medical School who was involved in the study, the cases of Langya henipavirus so far have not been fatal or very serious, so there is no need for panic. However, Wang Linfa added that it is still cause for alarm because many viruses that exist in nature can have unpredictable effects when they infect humans.
Further research revealed that clinical symptoms including fever, irritability, cough, anorexia, myalgia, nausea, headaches, and vomiting had shown in 26 out of 35 cases of Langya Henipavirus infection in Shandong and Henan provinces, according to the paper.
Several scientists, including those from the Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Qingdao Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School, and Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne, collaborated to write the research.