The world has not yet recovered from the coronavirus pandemic, and more threats are already on the horizon. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, a novel henipavirus has been discovered in the Shandong and central Henan provinces of China. The novel virus has infected 35 people so far. Of the 35 infected patients, 26 were infected exclusively with the Langya virus (LayV). The 26 patient’s symptoms were fever, fatigue, cough, anorexia, myalgia, nausea, headache and vomiting.

The new virus has occurred in two Chinese provinces

Langya henipavirus (LayV), also known as Langya virus, is a species of henipavirus first detected in the Chinese provinces of Shandong and Henan. It has been announced in 35 patients from 2018 to August 2022. 9 patients were investigated for transmission to close-contact family members. None showed any transmission of the Langya virus, but scientists in the research paper suggest that the “sample size was too small to determine the status of human-to-human transmission.” The study suggests that the shrew may be a “reservoir” for the Langya virus, and notes that the virus was also found in some dogs and goats that were tested.

TUBS, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

High mortality rate

The virus belongs to the same group of paramyxoviruses of the Henipavirus genus as Hendra (HeV) and Nipah (NiV) viruses. The World Health Organization cites the Nipah virus as having a 40-75% fatality rate and there is no known cure or vaccine. The CDC cites the Hendra virus, another form of henipavirus, as having a 57% fatality rate.

WHO states: “The incubation period is from 4 to 14 days, but an incubation period as long as 45 days has been reported. Most people make a full recovery, although some are left with residual neurological conditions after acute encephalitis. Some cases of relapse have been reported. The case fatality rate of Nipah virus infection is estimated at 40–75% but can vary by outbreak depending on surveillance and clinical management in affected areas.”

“There are currently no drugs or vaccines that specifically target Nipah virus infection. WHO has identified Nipah as a priority disease for the WHO Research and Development Blueprint. Intensive supportive care is recommended to treat severe respiratory and neurological complications.”

Is the world waiting for another pandemic?

Preparing for the next pandemic?

Bill Gates, the Microsoft inventor/CEO (turned epidemiologist) wrote in his blog back in 2018:

“With funding commitments of more than $630 million, CEPI’s first order of business is advancing the development of vaccines for three of the priority diseases on the WHO list for public health R&D: Lassa fever, Nipah virus, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.”

This wealthy “philanthropist” seems to be bent on developing another vaccine that will save the world and make billions of dollars more.


Image credit: Wikimedia,