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Taiwan develops PCR-based testing process to diagnose Langya virus

2022-08-15
Focus Taiwan
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Taiwan develops PCR-based testing process to diagnose Langya virus
Taiwan develops PCR-based testing process to diagnose Langya virus

Taipei, Aug. 14 (CNA) Taiwanese scientists have developed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based testing process to diagnose Langya henipavirus (LayV), a new animal-derived virus that has been detected in eastern China, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Sunday.

LayV, which was first described by Chinese scientists in an Aug. 4 article in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), has infected dozens of patients, mainly farmers, in China's Shandong and Henan provinces, many of whom had symptoms such as fever, fatigue and coughing.

The virus is believed to have been transmitted to humans from shrews, but there is currently no evidence that it can be spread from person to person, though it has raised concerns coming on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a call with reporters on Sunday, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said that using data provided in the NEJM article, Taiwanese researchers developed a PCR-based testing method to diagnose LayV.

Because the virus has not been shown to spread from person to person, it is possible that it will not spread to Taiwan, Chuang said, adding that doctors are nevertheless being encouraged to report suspected infections, in order to test the government's response capabilities.

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