(ORDO NEWS) — Chinese scientists have discovered a new type of swine flu that could cause another pandemic. The corresponding study was published on June 29, 2020 in the scientific journal PNAS.
The flu, designated G4, was derived from the H1N1 strain, which caused a pandemic in 2009.
“It has all the signs of being highly adaptable to human infection,” wrote scientists from the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, who participated in the study.
Long-term observation of the strain
From 2011 to 2018, researchers took 30,000 swabs from pigs in slaughterhouses in 10 provinces of China, revealing 179 swine flu viruses. Most infected individuals demonstrated precisely the presence of G4, the dominance of which among pigs has been observed since 2016.
A multilevel study of G4 found that this type of flu is highly infectious, multiplies rapidly and affects the body more than most known strains. In addition, scientists have found that any immunity that people get as a result of seasonal flu does not provide protection against G4.
According to numerous blood tests of pigs, which showed the presence of antibodies resulting from exposure to the virus, about 10.4% of individuals on pig farms were infected in the past or are currently infected.
No less curious and frightening at the same time is the fact that about 4.4% of the population of China was more or less exposed to G4.
This proves that this type of swine flu is transmitted from animals to humans. However, so far there is no evidence that the virus is transmitted from person to person.
“The possibility of transmission of the virus from person to person is worrying. We may face a serious outbreak, for which we are not ready, ”the researchers concluded.
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