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Dr. Karayiannis: New Langya virus not alarming

11/08/2022 14:12

The new virus, Langya henipavirus, is not alarming, according to member of the Scientific Advisory Committee, professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology of the University of Nicosia Medical School Dr. Petros Karayiannis.

He told CNA that the virus is not easily transmissible.

It is nothing to worry about, he said, adding the virus has existed for years in China and especially in areas of south-west Asia. It is not easily transmissible and it is spread from animal to humans. However, from human to human the transmission is not simple, Dr. Karayiannis said.

It happens, he added, when there is close contact between humans and animals. The virus originated from bats, then it spread to pigs and from there to humans. Those who come into close contact with pigs can be infected. It seems, he added, that Langya is hiding in the mice.

Asked why this virus has now appeared in China, Dr. Karayiannis explained that human interaction with animals has increased. However, he added that he cannot see the virus spreading out of China at a rapid pace.

The novel Langya henipavirus (LayV) was first detected in the north-eastern provinces of Shandong and Henan in late 2018 but was only formally identified by scientists last week. It is suspected to have caused infections in 35 people in China’s Shandong and Henan provinces over roughly a two-year period to 2021.