In news- Nearly three dozen people in China were affected by the Langya virus recently.
What is Langya virus?
- The Novel Langya Henipavirus (LayV) is a type of henipavirus, a category of zoonotic viruses which can jump from animals to humans.
- Henipaviruses can cause severe illness in animals and humans, and currently, there are no licensed drugs or vaccines meant for humans. Hence, it is slightly incurable.
- Since the LayV virus RNA has been predominantly found in shrews, that might be its natural hosts.
- As believed, Langya was discovered in eastern China during surveillance testing of fever-affected patients with a recent history of animal exposure.
- Symptoms of the virus include fever, fatigue, cough, nostalgia, headaches and vomiting. Further, the patients were accompanied by abnormalities of leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and kidney and liver dysfunction.
- Thrombocytopenia is low platelet count, whereas leukopenia means a fall in the white blood cell count, in turn decreasing the body’s immunity or disease-fighting capability.
- The Langya virus is from the same family as the deadly Nipah and Hendra viruses.
- The Hendra & Nipah viruses have an estimated mortality rate of between about 40-70%.
- So far, there is no evidence that the Langya virus can transmit among humans.
- Hendra virus was first reported in Queensland in 1994, when it caused the deaths of horses and the trainer Vic Rail.
- Many outbreaks in horses have been reported in Queensland and northern New South Wales since, and are generally thought to be due to “spillover” infections from flying foxes.