China has announced the outbreak of a new deadly virus called Langya henipavirus (LayV). So far, 35 individuals have tested positive in the provinces of Shandong and Henan in the northeast of the country.
The Langya virus causes symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, cough and fever. It is part of the henipavirus family and leads to zoonotic diseases. A zoonosis is an infectious disease that is transmitted from animals to humans or from humans to animals.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Langya virus’ fatality rates are significantly higher than Covid-19. They range from 40 to 75 percent. This means that in some circumstances, up to 75 percent of the infected subjects would die of it.
The new virus has possibly been transmitted to humans by shrews (small animals of the same family as hedgehogs).