Scientists warn that the strain of H1N1 swine flu, common with China’s pig farms, should be controlled on an urgent basis. A recent study highlights the danger of another pandemic. They call it G4 EA H1N1 – a new swine flu – common with China’s pig farms since 2016.
The study says that this new swine flu replicates efficiently in human airways. It has infected people without causing the disease. Science is unpredictable in some ways. Health experts fear that though it didn’t cause the disease, this new swine flu could change without warning.
Pandemic Potential New Swine Flu
Emphasizing on urgent control of this new strain of H1N1, the report says, “G4 viruses have all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus”.
The research report published online the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences summarized 8 years of surveillance of pigs in 10 Chinese provinces. During this time period, 2011 to 2018, the researchers studied pig farm on China and people working there.
In the Last three years, scientists collected 338 blood samples from workers on 15 pig farms and 230 from people in nearby households.
10.4 percent of the workers and 4.4 percent of the others tested positive for antibodies to G4 EA H1N1, a new swine flu, in the last three years. Moreover, the workers between the ages of 18 and 35 tested positive at a higher rate: 20.5 percent.
The Next Crucial Step
One of two scientists who reviewed the paper before it was published, Ian H. Brown, who is the head of the virology department at Britain’s Animal and Plant Health Agency, advised: “close attention to the virus”.
An interesting fact is that the study was sent for review in the first week of December before the current Covid-19 had started spreading.
According to another scientist, the next big thing “crucial next step” would be the inquiry of whether any worker had contracted the virus to his family, and they had contracted the virus from humans.
Dr. Huang said that any disease that spread human to human is what we need to be worried about. He is the director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at National Taiwan University Hospital.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US’s top infectious disease expert, said the new swine flu was not an immediate threat but we need to keep an eye on it. H1Ni virus had spread around the world in 2009 and killed 285,000. This virus is highly transmissible.