What is this new virus coming from China and how concerned should we be?

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Meaning of Langya henipavirus virus

The virus Langya (LayV) it is part of a type of virus called henipa virus which are typically housed in fruit bats. This includes Hendra virus, which was first identified in Australia in 1994 and is known to infect humans and horses (14 horses and their trainer killed). Even the Nipah virus, first identified in 1999 in Malaysia, is part of this genus and frequent outbreaks occur in Bangladesh among people who have contact with pigs. However, more recent outbreaks are thought to have been due to food contaminated with the urine or saliva of infected bats. Both infections have high death rates in humans. This family of viruses was the inspiration for the fictional virus MEV-1 in the movie Contagion by Steven Soderbergh from 2011. However, LayV seems more closely related toMojiang henipa virus which in 2012 caused the deaths of three miners working in an abandoned copper mine in southern China, who died of pneumonia that prevented them from escaping. LayV is the sixth species identified in the genus henipavirus and was isolated by Chinese researchers in late 2018 during routine surveillance from a throat swab from a patient who had had contact with animals. After the virus was identified, researchers looked for the virus in other people and 35 people in China’s Shandong and Henan provinces are believed to be infected between December 2018 and May 2021.

Source: Corriere

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