Almost three years after the novel coronavirus was detected in China, a new zoonotic virus has been discovered in the country’s two eastern provinces with 35 infections identified so far. This new type of Henipavirus is also being called Langya Henipavirus or the LayV.
- The newly discovered virus is a “phylogenetically distinct Henipavirus”.
- Henipaviruses are classified as biosafety level 4 (BSL4) pathogens.
- They can cause severe illness in animals and humans, and as of now there are no licensed drugs or vaccines meant for humans.
- The types of Henipaviruses that had been identified prior to this included Hendra, Nipah, Cedar, Mojiang and the Ghanaian bat virus. Langya, meanwhile, is known to cause fever.
- Langya’s genome organization is “identical to that of other Henipaviruses”, and that it is closely related to the “Mojiang Henipavirus, which was discovered in southern China”.