Should we find a new “pandemic virus” in pigs?

This has become contagious to humans and must be observed.

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Should we find a new “pandemic virus” in pigs?
Should we find a new “pandemic virus” in pigs?

This story originally appeared on high level

A new flu virus found in swine in China has become more contagious to humans and needs to be watched closely if it becomes potential. “Pandemic virus”One study found that experts said there was no immediate threat.

A team of Chinese researchers examined the influenza viruses found in pigs between 2011 and 2018 and found a strain. “G4 ”from H1N1, which has“ all the essential features of a possible pandemic virus ”, according to the document published by the American journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Pig farmers also showed elevated virus levels in their blood, the study authors said, adding that “Close monitoring is urgently needed in the human population, particularly among workers in the pig industry.”.


The study highlights the risk that viruses will cross the species’ barrier to humans, especially in China’s densely populated regions, where millions of people live in close proximity to farms, breeding facilities, slaughterhouses and wet markets.

The coronavirus that is currently sweeping the world is believed to come from horseshoe bats in southwest China. and possibly people jumped to a fish market in downtown Wuhan, where the virus was first identified..

The World Health Organization (WHO) will read the study carefully, the spokesman said. Christian Lindmeier At a performance in Geneva on Tuesday, it was stated that it is important to work together on the results and to keep statistics on animal populations.

“It also shows that we cannot abandon our influenza and that we must be vigilant and continue to monitor the coronavirus pandemic as well.”he added.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press conference Tuesday that the authorities are closely following developments. “We will take all necessary measures to prevent the spread and outbreak of viruses.”, he showed.

The study showed that pigs are seen as important “mixing vessels” for the production of pandemic influenza viruses and called for a “Systematic monitoring” of the problem.


Not an immediate threat

The new virus identified in the study is a recombination of the 2009 H1N1 variant and a strain previously found in pigs.

Although it is able to infect people, There is no immediate risk of a new pandemic. said Carl Bergstrom, a biologist at the University of Washington.

“There is no evidence that G4 circulates in humans despite five years of intense exposure.”he said on Twitter. “This is the key context to consider”.

Carl T. Bergstrom on Twitter

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