New Swine Flu Virus With Pandemic Potential Identified By Chinese Researchers
Bhubaneswar: Coronavirus cases are on rise worldwide, researchers in China have discovered a new type of swine flu with pandemic potential.
Scientists say that the virus is carried by pigs, but can infect humans.
Named G4, it is genetically descended from the HIN1 strain that has caused pandemic in 2009. And scientists say that the available flu vaccine might not be able to provide immunity from the virus.
They have found evidence of the recent infection was starting in people who worked in abattoirs and the swine industry in China.
The scientists further said that measures to control the virus in pigs and the close monitoring of swine industry workers, should be swiftly implemented.
Professor Kin-Chow Chang, who works at Nottingham University in the UK, told the BBC: “Right now we are distracted with coronavirus. But we must not lose sight of the potentially dangerous new viruses.
While this new virus is not an immediate problem, he says,” We should not ignore it”.
Professor James Wood, head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge, said the work” comes as a salutary reminder” that we are constantly at risk of new emergence of pathogens and that farmed animals, with which humans have greater contact than with wildlife, may act as the source for important pandemic viruses.
That virus, called A/H1N1 pdm09, is now covered by the annual flu vaccine to make sure that people are protected.
The development comes as the world is still struggling to contain the Covid-19 pandemic that originated in China’s Wuhan city last December.