October 7, 2022

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“Whether he poses a serious risk is unknown,” according to Van Ranst.


Covid scares, smallpox worries… How should we react to this new virus coming out of China? It is called Longya and 35 cases have already been identified. According to virologist Marc Van Ranst, interviewed by HLN, new viruses are constantly being discovered and it remains to be seen how serious the situation is.

According to a report titled “A zoonotic henipavirus in febrile patients in China” published in the medical journal “The New England Journal of Medicine”, this is a new henipavirus, the most famous of which are Nipah virus and Hendravirus. Not enjoying a good reputation. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the mortality rate of incurable Nipah disease is 40-75%.

As for the symptoms, some are similar to what we now know due to covid. Longya patients reported fever (100% patients), fatigue (54%), cough (50%), anorexia (50%), muscle aches (46%), nausea (38%), headache (35%) and vomiting (35%). ).

Mark von Ranst has not warned about this situation yet: cases are currently only reported in China, and no one has died. “Patients have a fever-like syndrome with reduced kidney and liver function.” According to him, new viruses are constantly being discovered. And “we don’t know if it presents a serious risk. That remains to be seen. 35 cases is not a lot. We still don’t know about asymptomatic infections. »

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Von Ranst’s laboratory is already developing a specific PCR test.

According to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there has been no human-to-human transmission so far. Testing of 25 species of wild animals has identified the shrew as a potential reservoir of the new virus. The virus was detected in 27% of shrews tested.