New Swine Flu "Capable Of Triggering A Pandemic" Discovered In

  • New Swine Flu

New Swine Flu "Capable Of Triggering A Pandemic" Discovered In

"The likelihood that this particular variant is going to cause a pandemic is low", said the expert who studies pig influenza viruses in the United States and their spread to humans. The potentially risky strain of influenza is thought to be a blend of three flu strains and has already leapt to humans.

"The Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Animal industry (BAI) reminds the general public to report any unusual pig mortalities in your farm", DA Assistant Secretary Noel Reyes said in a virtual press briefing on Tuesday. "But we must not lose sight of potentially risky new viruses", he told BBC News.

"Close monitoring in human populations, especially the workers in the swine industry, should be urgently implemented", the paper said. Robert Webster, an influenza investigator who recently retired from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, says it's a "guessing game" as to whether this strain will mutate to readily transmit between humans, which it has not done yet.

The new virus, discovered by Chinese scientists, is similar to swine flu, but there are some differences. They managed to isolate 179 swine flu viruses. Some only showed up one year or eventually declined to nonthreatening levels.

The scientists said two recent cases of G4 virus infection, reported in 2016 and 2019, were of a 46- and a nine-year-old, respectively.

Researchers found that G4 viruses were able to bind to human receptors, and could replicate themselves in the cells in human airways.

The researchers also observed that any immunity humans develop from exposure to seasonal flu does not provide protection from this new type of swine flu.

The virus, which has been found in China, has "all the essential hallmarks" of a possible pandemic, the researchers explained.

Evidence shows that the virus has already been passed from animals to humans.

Nevertheless, the researchers warned in the study that the virus was on the rise among pig populations, and could "pose a serious threat to human health" if not carefully monitored.

Nevertheless, the study authors call for increased surveillance as well as efforts to develop a vaccine against the G4 virus, and others agree.

But Nelson notes that no one knew about the pandemic H1N1 strain, which jumped from pigs to people, until the first human cases surfaced in 2009.

Pigs are often intermediate hosts or "mixing vessels" for viruses with pandemic potential to develop in.

Workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) take care of a group of people wearing face masks as they wait to undergo COVID-19 coronavirus tests in Beijing, China, on June 19, 2020.

While the new virus is not an immediate problem, he added: "We should not ignore it".