(FreedomBeacon.com)- Email Headline: This Strange New Virus Is Killing People
Website Headline: A Deadly New Virus Is Spreading Across China
A new virus that had been detected in dozens of people in eastern China over recent years is believed to be another indication of how easily viruses can jump from animals to humans.
The virus, Langya henipavirus, was detected in 35 unrelated fever patients hospitalized in Shandong and Henan provinces between 2018 and 2021. While no deaths were reported from the pathogen, scientists believe it might have spread either directly or indirectly from shrews to humans.
Last week, the New England Journal of Medicine published the first scientific research on the Langya henipavirus which said that patients experience flu-like symptoms, including fever, coughing, muscle aches, fatigue, and loss of appetite.
Researchers said there is no evidence the virus spreads between people, nor has there been any evidence that it had caused a local outbreak of connected cases. However, to rule out a possible human-to-human spread, more studies on a larger subset of patients would be needed.
According to infectious disease researcher Linfa Wang, who was part of the research team, while the Langya henipavirus is unlikely to evolve into another pathogen that sparks a pandemic, “it does demonstrate that such zoonotic spillover events happen more often than we think.”
Wang, a professor at the Duke National University of Singapore Medical School, said to reduce the risk of an emerging virus becoming a health crisis, “it is absolutely necessary to conduct active surveillance in a transparent and internationally collaborative way.”
The first clues of the Langya henipavirus emerged in December 2018 after a 53-year-old farmer experiencing flu-like symptoms sought treatment at a hospital in Qingdao city in Shandong province.
Scientists found in the patient’s test samples a new virus related to pathogens not known for easily spreading from human to human.
Over the following 32 months, researchers from three hospitals screened for this virus in patients experiencing similar symptoms, ultimately finding it in 35 people.