Chinese scientists have discovered a new variant of the flu. Scientists say the virus can “potentially cause a pandemic”. The virus appeared in pigs and can be transmitted to humans, the researchers say.
Scientists are concerned that the virus mutates in a way that it can be transmitted from person to person and thus spread around the world.
Pig workers had high levels of the virus in their blood. The researchers recommend stricter supervision, especially for people working in the pig industry.
It looks like swine flu
The new virus, called G4 EA H1N1, is similar to the 2009 swine flu, but with some changes. Current flu vaccines still don’t seem to protect against it. But these vaccines can be adjusted, if necessary.
For now, it is not a direct problem, but it has all the characteristics that can easily bite people, say the scientists. Therefore, it needs to be monitored closely. Because it is a new virus, it is possible that people are not immune to it.
World Health Organization (WHO) says to read the Chinese study carefully. “The study shows that we must be aware of the flu virus during the crown pandemic.”
The last global flu outbreak was swine flu in 2009. Fewer victims than previously thought. Many older people were immune to the virus because it resembled the flu viruses that had spread previously.