What a gift 2020 has been for us all. Note, heavy sarcasm is involved.
Brace yourselves? China has potentially discovered a new swine flu strain with “pandemic potential”. The G4 virus is genetically descended from the H1N1 swine flu that caused a global pandemic in 2009.
G4 now shows “all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus,” according to the study.
Researchers discovered G4 during a pig surveillance program that ran from 2011 to 2018, in which they collected more than 30,000 nasal swab samples from pigs in slaughterhouses across China.
Further tests showed that G4 can infect humans by binding to our cells and receptors, and it can replicate quickly inside our airway cells.
To decrease the risk of the spread, Chinese farmers and authorities need to control the spread of the virus among pigs, and closely monitor people who work with the animals. There’s not much concrete evidence to go on just yet.