Scientists are closely monitoring a new animal-borne disease in eastern China. In the meantime, the virus has spread panic among people. So far dozens of people have been infected with it.
The BBC reported on Wednesday (August 10) that 35 patients with Langa henipavirus (LayV) or Langa virus have been found in Henan and Shandong provinces. Many of them showed symptoms like fever, malaise, and cough. Although the virus was detected in 2018, it was officially announced last week.
It is believed that the disease spread to humans due to contact with an animal. Scientists first identified the virus in rodents.
A letter written by scientists from China, Singapore, and Australia highlighted the discovery of this virus. The letter was published this month in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Wang Linfa, a researcher at Duke-NUS Medical School based in Singapore, said that the condition of the Langa virus patients found so far is not serious. Even the disease is not fatal for them. So there is nothing to panic about the disease.
But everyone should be cautious about the virus, he said. Viruses that exist in nature are thought to have bad consequences if they infect humans.
Scientists say that the Langa virus was detected in the body of 27 percent of the tested hedgehogs. Mammals like hedgehogs are natural reservoirs of Langavirus. Besides, about five percent of dogs and two percent of goats have tested positive for the virus. Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control said it was closely monitoring the outbreak of the Langa virus.
Scientists are having to rethink animal-borne diseases after the start of the corona pandemic. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three out of four new or emerging diseases are animal-borne.