While surrounded by Chinese armed forces, Taiwan has announced that a new virus has been discovered in China. Her name? Langya-Henipavirus (LayV). This would be transmitted from animals to humans. Dogs and goats are the main carriers of the virus. According to Taiwan, the new pathogen could lead to organ failure in humans.
At least 35 people have been infected with this new “Henipa” in China. This was said on Sunday by Chuang Jen-hsiang, deputy director of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Taiwan, to reporters, according to information from the anti-Beijing “Taipei Times”.
His explanation of Langya-Henipavirus comes three days after scientists from Beijing and Singapore published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine . The virus is said to have appeared in the Chinese provinces of Shangdong and Henan. According to the study, the patients presented with a high fever. At least half of them also suffered from exhaustion, coughing, loss of appetite and a decrease in white blood cells. More than a third of those affected also suffered from liver failure and 8% from kidney failure.
No human-to-human transmission observed
Henipaviruses are considered a permanent threat to humans and animals. According to scientists, “LayV” belongs to the family of paramyxoviruses which, like the coronavirus, are transmitted mainly by droplets. Paramyxoviruses themselves belong to the so-called “negative strand RNA” viruses and can, according to the study, cause “fatal diseases”.
A study of domestic and livestock animals reportedly showed that 2% of goats and 5% of dogs tested were positive. Mice are also believed to carry the virus.
According to Chuang Jen-hsiang, none of the 35 people infected in China would have had contact with each other. Contact tracing also failed to prove human-to-human transmission. No deaths have been reported so far.
No test yet
The appearance of this new virus comes as the global Covid-19 pandemic has still not been overcome. In Switzerland, the Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP) is preparing to set up new prevention campaigns. It was also in China that the Covid appeared in 2019, on a fresh produce market in Wuhan. Since then, the country has systematically obstructed access to relevant data and destroyed evidence that could help determine the origin of the coronavirus.
Even today, as part of its “zero Covid” policy, Beijing goes so far as to ban access to entire cities, which leads to uncertainty around the world about the delivery of goods and an interruption of the chains of transport. production.
For its part, Taiwan does not yet want to sound the alarm about this new discovery. According to Chuang Jen-hsiang, there is currently no standardized testing method to identify the virus. It is therefore not yet possible for laboratories to detect an infection in humans and a possible large-scale spread.
In the context of current tensions between Taiwan and China, the appearance of this new pathology seems to be at the heart of much broader issues than just the health field.