COVID-19 reinfections becoming more common

Researchers have identified a new virus that has infected dozens of people in China.

Langya henipavirus (LayV) was first detected in late 2018 but was only formally identified last week. Scientists believe the virus is passed from animals to humans, typically found in bats and shrews.

The Taipei Timesreported that the virus has not yet spread from human to human, though the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have suggested that could change if the outbreak spreads.

Researchers are still working to identify the virus's origins to understand how it spreads.

Langya has already infected 35 people in China, none of which have become seriously ill or fatal. Nine of the 35 patients were asymptomatic.

Most patients have experienced flu-like symptoms, including fever, fatigue, cough, headache, muscle pain, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. Fatigue appears to be the most common symptom.

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A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine said Langya was linked with lower white blood cells, low platelet count, and liver or kidney failure in some cases.

According to the Taipei Times, the CDC confirmed they will carry out more research, including further nucleic acid testing procedures, tracking procedures and genome sequencing.

The new virus seems to be cause for concern given the profile of the two other henipaviruses, the Hendra virus and Nipah virus, both of which can be transmitted by animals to humans, and both have high fatality rates.

In a press conference on Sunday, Taiwanese CDC Deputy Director Chuang Jen-Hsiang said that the agency is working with the Chinese Council of Agriculture to identify whether other viruses are found in species native to Shandong and Henan provinces.

There have been no deaths reported so far.

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