A new type of swine flu is found by the researchers in China that may become more infectious to humans. The virus has the potential to trigger a pandemic, according to a study published Monday in the US. However the experts have said there is no imminent threat. The newly discovered virus is named G4 and originated from the H1N1 strain which caused a pandemic in 2009.
The authors, scientists at Chinese universities and China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention says, it possesses “all the essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans.”
The workers from the pig farm also elevated levels of the virus in their blood, said the author of the study. “Close monitoring in human populations, especially the workers in the swine industry, should be urgently implemented,” he added.
Researchers collected 30,000 nasal swabs from pigs in slaughterhouses in 10 Chinese provinces from 2011 to 2018. The study allowed them to identify 179 swine flu viruses. Most of them were a new kind which has been dominant among pigs since 2016. The experts executed different experiments that are proven useful in flu studies as they have similar symptoms to humans, mainly fever, coughing and sneezing.
The experts executed different experiments that are proven useful in flu studies as they have similar symptoms to humans, mainly fever, coughing and sneezing.
G4 is highly infectious that can be replicated in human cells and may cause more serious symptoms in ferrets than other viruses. According to study, any immunity humans gain from exposure to seasonal flu can’t save from G4. The virus is easily transmitted from animals to humans but there is no evidence that it 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.