Health officials in China are monitoring the spread of a new virus that has already infected dozens of people.
Despite none of them having any known close contact, Langya henipavirus, which is typically found in bats and shrews, has seen up to 35 human infections across the provinces of Shandong and Henan, according to Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
But what is the virus and what are the symptoms?
Here’s what you need to know.
What is the Langya henipavirus?
Langya henipavirus belongs to the henipavirus family, which has two previously identified viruses - the Hendra virus and Nipah virus.
The World Health Organisation reports that viruses from the henipavirus family have a fatality rate of up to 75%, which makes the fatality rate higher than coronavirus.
How has the virus been contracted?
Test results conducted on local dogs, goats and shrews have come back as positive, with experts suspecting that the virus may have been contracted from shrews, as the Langya henipavirus was found in 27% of the shrews tested.
The CDC has said they will begin to establish further nucleic acid testing procedures, tracking procedures and genome sequencing.
Deputy Director-General of the CDC, Chuang Jen-hsiang, told the Taipei Times that there have been no confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission of the virus, but he urged people to pay close attention to further updates as authorities continue to investigate.
What are the symptoms?
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that 26 of the 35 patients infected have suffered flu-like symptoms.
The study outlined that symptoms of Langya henipavirus have so far included fever, tiredness, cough, headache, loss of appetite, and vomiting.
Researchers also found that patients with the virus suffered from a decrease in white blood cells, low platelet count, and in some cases liver or kidney failure.
Is there a vaccine?
There is no vaccine or treatment for henipaviruses, but doctors can provide treatment and care to alleviate various symptoms.
No deaths have been reported from the current outbreak so far.