‘Pandemic potential’: New flu virus is present in Chinese language pigs

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Local animal husbandry workers inject a pig to collect blood sample at a pig farm in Zhangye, Gansu province, China October 28, 2019.


  • A brand new flu virus has been present in Chinese language pigs, that has the potential to be a ‘pandemic virus’.
  • A group of Chinese language researchers discovered a “G4” pressure of H1N1 that has “all of the important hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus”.
  • The virus has turn into extra infectious to people and was present in numerous pig staff.
  • Nevertheless, researchers imagine there isn’t a imminent danger of a possible pandemic.

A brand new flu virus present in Chinese language pigs has turn into extra infectious to people and must be watched intently in case it turns into a possible “pandemic virus”, a research mentioned, though specialists mentioned there isn’t a imminent menace.

Local animal husbandry workers inject a pig to collect blood sample at a pig farm in Zhangye, Gansu province, China October 28, 2019.

Employees gathering a blood pattern.

Picture: REUTERS/Stringer

A group of Chinese language researchers checked out influenza viruses present in pigs from 2011 to 2018 and located a “G4” pressure of H1N1 that has “all of the important hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus”, based on the paper, revealed by the U.S. journal, Proceedings of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Pig farm staff additionally confirmed elevated ranges of the virus of their blood, the authors mentioned, including that “shut monitoring in human populations, particularly the employees within the swine business, must be urgently applied.”

The research highlights the dangers of viruses crossing the species barrier into people, particularly in densely populated areas in China, the place hundreds of thousands reside in shut proximity to farms, breeding services, slaughterhouses and moist markets.

The coronavirus that brought on the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is believed to have originated in horseshoe bats in southwest China, and will have unfold to people by way of a seafood market in Wuhan, the place the virus was first recognized.

The PNAS research mentioned pigs are thought of necessary “mixing vessels” for the era of pandemic influenza viruses and known as for “systematic surveillance” of the issue.

China took motion in opposition to an outbreak of avian H1N1 in 2009, limiting incoming flights from affected nations and placing tens of 1000’s of individuals into quarantine.

The brand new virus recognized within the research is a recombination of the 2009 H1N1 variant and a as soon as prevalent pressure present in pigs.

However whereas it’s able to infecting people, there isn’t a imminent danger of a brand new pandemic, mentioned Carl Bergstrom, a biologist on the College of Washington.

“There’s no proof that G4 is circulating in people, regardless of 5 years of in depth publicity,” he mentioned on Twitter after the paper’s publication. “That’s the important thing context to bear in mind.”



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