New Swine Flu Virus “Capable Of Triggering A Pandemic” Discovered In China
Chinese researchers have identified a new type of swine flu that they say is “capable of triggering a pandemic.”
The new virus — which is genetically descended from the strain of swine flu that caused the 2009 pandemic — has been called G4.
In a study published yesterday, scientists said that G4 has “all the essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans.”
Although the virus has already passed from animals to humans, there is not yet evidence that it can be transmitted between people. Tests have shown that any immunity a person has to existing influenza viruses will not protect them from G4.
“Cannot Let Our Guard Down”
Experts agree that there is no imminent threat from the new strain of swine flu, but that the situation must be monitored closely.
“We cannot let our guard down on influenza and need to be vigilant and continue surveillance even in the coronavirus pandemic,” said Christian Lindmeier, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization.
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Swine Flu Pandemic
The 2009 swine flu pandemic claimed the lives of up to 575,000 people around the globe — with 80 percent of fatalities occurring in people aged under 65.
The virus first emerged in Mexico before rapidly spreading around the world.
Scientists are concerned that if the new G4 swine flu strain were to adapt to pass between humans, then a pandemic of the 2009 scale could be likely.
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Tags: China, coronavirus, COVID-19, G4, Pandemic, pig farm, pigs, swine flu, virus, world health organization, Zoonotic