Facts you should know about LayV virus found in China
A senior virologist revealed four important facts about the LayV virus that was found recently in China.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, Dr Anan Jongkaewwattana, director of the National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology's Veterinary Health Innovation and Management Research Group, said that a Chinese research team had published a study before the news came out.
He summarised four interesting facts from the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
1. LayV’s full name is Langya henipavirus and it is in the paramyxovirus family, the same as measles and mumps viruses.
He said that there are also severe viruses in this family, such as Nipah and Hendra, which have a high fatality rate. However, their spread has been limited because the host dies quickly.
2. The first human patient was found in China at the end of 2018 and around 35 people have been infected so far.
Interestingly, there was no cluster of spread or group, which indicates that the virus might not be able to transmit from human to human yet.
3. The scientists suspected that shrews were the most obvious carriers of the virus. However, other animals could also be a source.
4. The symptoms are similar to influenza, such as fever, aches, and fatigue. The virus could also impair the functioning of the liver and kidneys in some patients, but there was no instance of death yet.
Anan concluded that humans could contact the LayV virus from animals while there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission yet. Patients also usually have weak symptoms and there were no deaths yet.
He accused the media of sensationalising facts about the Nipah virus and making the disease look dangerous in order to sell news.