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Langya virus ‘no cause for special concern’

child takes bath in a bucket amid a heatwave warning in huayuan county

There is no cause for special concern over the Langya virus in China, the health ministry said on Tuesday, adding that it will closely monitor the situation regarding the virus’ development.

After reports that the virus has been located in China, the ministry said the new virus, Langya Henipavirus (LayV), was identified after febrile incidents were examined following exposure to animals in the eastern China district.

The new virus has been identified in 35 individuals in the Shandog and Henan districts.

According to the health ministry, the new virus is transmitted from animals to humans. Henipavirus is a new genus of paramyxovirus that uses protein-based receptors (EphrinB2 and EphrinB3) for virus entry.

A serosurvey of domestic animals detected seropositivity in goats and dogs. Wild rodent and shrew samples were tested for LayV infection. Viral RNA was detected in three rodent and two shrew species.

The ministry said that the main symptoms of the virus are fever, fatigue, coughing, loss of appetite, myalgia, nausea and headache.

It added that some patients suffered haematological disorders such as leukopenia, thrombocytopenia as well as liver and kidney function changes, with the majority of patients (85 per cent) being predominantly farmers and most reported in a questionnaire that they had been exposed to animals within one month of the onset of their symptoms.

However, the ministry clarified that currently, there are no indications that the virus can be spread from human to human, although this possibility cannot be ruled out.

At the same time, no death has been reported due to Langya.

Meanwhile the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has announced that based on the limited information currently available, the risk for EU citizens visiting or residing in the Shandong and Henan provinces of China, where the virus was reported, is considered very low. Similarly, the risk of infection for EU citizens in Europe is very low.

 

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