- Researchers in China have found new swine flu that could trigger another pandemic
- It has been reported that the G4 strain genetically descended from the H1N1 strain
- The new swine flu was observed to be highly infectious and could cause serious symptoms in ferrets
- About 10% of industry workers in China were already infected with this new swine flu
- The researchers called for urgent measures to monitor those working with pigs
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A group of researchers in China has discovered a new strain of swine flu that has the potential to be a pandemic.
KAMI learned that the new swine flu is called G4 and it genetically descended from the H1N1 strain that started a pandemic in 2009.
In a report by Manila Bulletin, scientists at Chinese universities and China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that the new swine flu possesses all the “essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans.”
After the scientists conducted the research, the G4 strain was observed to be highly infectious, replicating in human cells, and causing more serious symptoms in ferrets than other viruses.
The study also showed that any immunity gain from exposure to seasonal flue does not guarantee any protection from this new swine flu.
The test also revealed that 4.4% of the general population has been exposed to G4. Meanwhile, 10% of industrial workers in China have already been infected. However, there is still no evidence yet if the G4 strain can be passed from human to human.
“It is of concern that human infection of G4 virus will further human adaptation and increase the risk of a human pandemic,” the researchers wrote.
“The work comes as a salutary reminder that we are constantly at risk of new emergence of zoonotic pathogens and that farmed animals, with which humans have greater contact than with wildlife, may act as the source for important pandemic viruses,” said James Wood, head of the department of veterinary medicine at Cambridge University said.
Following the study, the experts called for urgent measures to monitor people working with pigs.
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