What is ‘Langia,’ this new virus identified in China, and why isn’t it cause for concern?

Researchers identified a new virus in about 30 people, from 2018 to 2021. Its transmission among men appears to be very limited, and if symptoms of the disease are severe, the study does not report any deaths.

New virus identified in China transmitted by animals? This familiar story comes from a study published August 4 in The New England Journal of Medicine. The authors report that they detected a new virus called Langia hnipa virus, or lyv, in 35 patients. Patients have various symptoms: fever, impaired liver function or nausea. It appears to have been contaminated by animals.

Unlike Covid-19, transmission of this virus appears to be very limited: the patients the researchers studied were identified between the end of 2018 and May 2021. Reasons. , SARS-CoV-2, as shown Parisian.

Virus from the Haniba virus family

The discovery was made as part of a study of patients from three Chinese hospitals, and the researchers then recruited patients who had a fever above 38°C with a “history of animal exposure in the month prior to illness.” By analyzing samples taken from these patients, they discovered LayV in 35 of them. Of those 35 patients, only 26 patients – ages 9 to 84, with an overall average age of 57 – were studied by the researchers because they had “no other pathogens”.

LayV is part of the henipavirus family, of which two types of viruses are known: Hendra and Nipah, which are animal diseases. The first is “rare”, writes the WHO, but “causes severe and often fatal disease in infected horses and humans.” The cases identified were mostly in Australia.

The second is “present throughout South and Southeast Asia,” the Pasteur Institute wrote. “With a mortality rate of over 70%, this virus is, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), an emerging infectious agent that has the potential to cause severe epidemics if it evolves to increase its transmissibility.”

The study did not report deaths from fibroids, but nevertheless describes severe symptoms in the 26 patients studied: 100% with fever, 54% with fatigue, 50% with cough and loss of appetite, 46% with muscle aches, 38% with nausea, 35 Headache, vomiting, abnormalities in thrombocytopenia (severe bleeding), drop in white blood cell count in 54%, hepatic failure in 35%, and renal failure in 8%.

Infection between humans appears to be ‘intermittent’

“LayV appears to be much less lethal” than its cousin viruses, Writes on Twitter François Ballouxdirector of the Institute of Genetics at University College London, adding that this virus did not appear to “spread rapidly in humans”.

The researchers noted that human-to-human transmission of this virus appears to be limited: “There was no close contact or a common history of exposure between patients, which indicates that infection in humans may be sporadic,” they explained. As a reminder, 35 cases were identified within three years.

However, they wrote that “the sample size was too small to determine the case of human-to-human transmission.”

At the same time, the study is concerned with possible animal transmission, which is a zoonotic disease, like other canine viruses.

And so the virus was looked for in sick animals, mostly farmers, but also in wild animals. 3 out of 168 labs tested positive (ie 2%), and 4 out of 79 (5%) dogs tested positive. Of the 25 wild animal species tested, the virus was found mostly in shrews, with 71 positive individuals out of 262 tested, or 27%.

This finding “indicates that shrews may be a natural reservoir for LayV,” according to the study authors.

“Further investigation to better understand this virus”

The study concluded that these findings “require further investigation to better understand the human disease associated” with LayV.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Taiwan, after publishing these results, announced that it will create a test to be able to detect this virus and follow its transmission, according to reports. Taipei Times. The CDC stressed the need to “pay close attention to new updates on the virus.”

François Ballou wrote: “At this point, LayV does not look like a repeat of Covid-19 at all, but it is still a reminder of the imminent threat posed by the many pathogens circulating in wild animal populations. And domestic animals that have the potential to infect humans.”

Salome Vincendon BFMTV journalist

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