REPORT: Strange New Virus With High Fatality Rate In China Has Infected 35 People

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Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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A new, potentially highly fatal virus discovered in China with zoonotic origins has infected approximately 35 people, according to a New England Journal of Medicine research study.

The Langya Henipavirus virus (LayV) was discovered in the Shandong and Henan provinces on the Chinese mainland, WION News reported. While the infectious capacity of the virus is currently unknown, all of the patients who have contracted the virus presented a fever and other accompanying symptoms, according to TMZ.

Other reported symptoms include exhaustion, coughing and appetite loss, while liver and kidney failure were also reported in certain cases, WION noted. None of the patients infected had close contact with one another or common exposure history, Live Mint reported.

There are no current reports suggesting the virus can be transmitted between humans, though Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) did not yet officially determine whether the virus could be transmitted in that capacity, Live Mint noted. The agency also issued a precautionary alert about the virus, advising residents of the island to monitor news related to the outbreak, according to WION.

None of the patients have reportedly died from the virus as of now, but Henipaviruses (or “Hendra” and “Nipah” viruses) typically have a 40-75% fatality rate, according to the World Health Organization. (RELATED: STUDY: Newly Identified Microbes Frozen In Tibetan Ice Could Create Nearly 1,000 Pandemics If Released)

WHO identified forms of the Nipah virus as being a priority for research and development as there are currently no known drugs or vaccines that target it directly, the agency reports. As for the Hendra branch, while there have only been seven reported cases in humans, four of those infected ultimately died, according to the U.S. CDC.