GS Paper - 3 (Health and Diseases)

Almost three years after COVID-19 was detected in China, the country has reported cases of another zoonotic virus called Langya virus. The new type of animal-derived Henipavirus has so far infected people in the Shandong and Henan provinces of China. Meanwhile, this new type of Henipavirus is also called Langya Henipavirus or the LayV.

What

  1. It can cause severe illness in animals and humans, and at present, there are no licensed drugs or vaccines meant for humans.
  2. A zoonotic disease that spreads from animals to humans, the Langya virus was first detected in the northeastern provinces of Shandong and Henan in 2018 and was officially detected recently.
  3. According to scientists, several other types of Henipavirus like Hendra, Nipah, Cedar, Mojiang and the Ghanaian bat virus are known to infect humans and cause fatal diseases. However, other related henipaviruses have been detected in bats, rodents, and shrews.
  4. The study found that Langya is most phylogenetically related to Mojiang henipavirus, which was discovered in southern China. Meanwhile, the Langya virus is known to cause fever.

How was the Langya virus found?

  1. The newly detected Langya was discovered in eastern China during surveillance testing of patients who had fever along with a recent history of animal exposure.
  2. It was identified and isolated from the throat swab sample of one of those patients.
  3. The scientists who conducted the study pointed out that this newly discovered Henipavirus is associated with some febrile cases, and the infected people have symptoms including fever, fatigue, cough, anorexia, myalgia, and nausea.