Dozens Of People Have Already Fallen Ill With Newly Identified Virus

By Jason Hall

August 10, 2022

Senior woman wearing face mask lying on hospital bed
Photo: Getty Images

Scientists are monitoring a new virus that has already infected dozens of people in eastern China.

The novel Langya henipavirus (LayV) has already been found in 35 human patients believed to have contracted the disease from animals as there's currently no evidence that it can be transmitted among humans, BBC.com reports.

Researchers have found that the virus is predominantly detected among shrews.

The new virus highlighted in a letter published by researchers from China, Singapore and Australia in the New England Journal of Medicine earlier this month.

Researchers said 7% of shrews included in their study tested positive for LayV, which suggests that they are "natural reservoirs." Scientists said 5% of dogs and 2% of goats included in the study also tested positive for the virus.

Symptoms for the newly discovered virus include fever, fatigue and a cough.

Wang Linfa, a researcher from the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore who was among the scientists who published the letter in the New England Journal of Medicine, told China's state-run Global Times that LayV hasn't resulted in any fatal or severe cases and that there's currently "no need to panic" in relation to the spread of the virus.

However, Wang did reiterate that the public must be alerted of any new and existing viruses as they're capable of bringing unpredictable results once they infect humans.

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