As we continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic … through a study published in the science journal PNAS, they claim that a group of scientists in China discovered a new variation of the swine flu that has the “Pandemic potential due to its distinctive characteristics of being highly adapted to infect humans,” they point out.
It turns out that the discovered strain is named G4 EA H1N1This means that it is part of the same family of the strain that caused the pandemic of the H1N1 virus in 2009. Since then, between 2011 and 2018, it seems that the researchers analyzed thousands of pigs in different slaughterhouses around a dozen provinces in China. As a result, they were able to isolate 179 swine flu viruses.
The discovery is not exactly new. It happened in 2016, when scientists started to analyze a new type of strain, G4, with a high infection rate.. They found that it was more dominant and caused more severe symptoms among pigs with similarities in humans, including: fever, cough, and sneezing. In addition, they found that it is also capable of replicating in human cells and warned that the virus has already passed from animals to humans … despite the fact that there is still no evidence that it has already been transmitted from human to human.
“It is worrying that human infection with the G4 virus promotes human adaptation and increases the risk of a human pandemic,” they explained.
While the research and finding seem more than alarming, given the circumstances we are going through right now, it is simply a reminder that we are constantly “at risk of a new pathogen emergence”, as the head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge, James Wood, explained to the BBC.
The veracity of the publication has been questioned, but it never hurts to stay alert.