Wednesday, 15 July, 2020

Flu strain with pandemic potential found in pigs in China

Swine Flu Could Be Humanity's Next Pandemic, Study Warns Second pandemic fears as new virus emerges in China
Gustavo Carr | 01 July, 2020, 05:52

What the world really doesn't need right now is another pandemic.

As the novel coronavirus pandemic rages on, researchers have discovered a new flu strain in pigs from China that has the potential of starting an epidemic of its own. The new virus identified in the study is a recombination of the 2009 H1N1 variant and a once prevalent strain found in pigs. "Will this one do it?"

While it is capable of infecting humans, there is no imminent risk of a new pandemic, said Carl Bergstrom, a biologist at the University of Washington.

This is the H1N1 strain that caused the 2009 swine flu pandemic (from January 2009 to August 2010, leading to the death of 18,000 humans) and a North American H1N1 that caused the 2009 flu pandemic in North America. It said the virus has "all the essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans". "But we must not lose sight of potentially risky new viruses", Nottingham University's Prof Kin-Chow Chang told the BBC. They analysed almost 30,000 nasal swabs taken from pigs at slaughterhouses in 10 provinces. Their work demonstrated that, starting in 2016, a modified form of H1N1 - named "G4 EA H1N1" - became the dominant strain in these pigs. They have determined that virus can jump to humans and could cause another pandemic event easily. To date, there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

The study said that the virus has "acquired increased human infectivity".

Brandi's Exotic Show Lounge to reopen after COVID-19 outbreak
She says the designation could be expanded to allow more visitors in the future, but she wants to start slowly. In B.C., the relaxed visitor restrictions do not apply to people in acute hospital care, although Dr.

In 2009, the H1N1 swine flu pandemic killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people globally.

"We're going in the wrong direction if you look at the curves of the new cases", Fauci told the Senate Health Committee.

Still, the study has infectious disease researchers worldwide taking serious notice, as COVID-19 is still ravaging in many countries and no one wants a pandemic on top of a pandemic. China has the largest population of pigs in the world, with over 400 million!

She added that given the relatively small sample size, it's hard to know whether the spread is a growing problem. But there is no evidence that the virus can be passed from person to person. The researchers found antibodies to the G4 strain in 4.4% of 230 people studied in a household survey-and the rate more than doubled in swine workers. That outbreak was brought to a halt when a vaccine was quickly developed for it.

An annual flu vaccine protects Chinese from earlier known influenza viruses, which may have helped contain its spread from infected people. "Making the seed stock is not a big deal, and we should have it ready", Webster says.