While the world is still trying to recover from the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Chinese scientists are concerned that a new type of flu resembling the swine flu has the potential to turn into another global pandemic. 


According to reports, the flu has emerged recently and pigs are the carriers but it can also infect humans. Named G4, it is genetically descended from the H1N1 strain that caused an epidemic in 2009.


Researchers are concerned that it could mutate further which means that it will spread from person to person easily and can trigger a global outbreak. Scientists at Chinese universities and China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention say that: 

It possesses all the essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans”. 

From 2011 to 2018, researchers took 30,000 nasal swabs from pigs in slaughterhouses in 10 Chinese provinces and vet hospitals that allowed them to isolate and control 179 swine flu viruses. 

The majority of cases were of a new kind of virus which has been dominant among pigs since 2016. 

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Various blood tests showed that antibiotics created by the exposure to the virus, 10.4% of swine workers had already been infected. The tests also revealed that as many as 4.4% general populations seemed to be exposed to the virus. 


This virus has therefore already passed on from animals to humans but evidence is yet to be discovered for a case where it passes on from a human to human. The researchers mentioned: 

It is of concern that human infection of G4 virus will further human adaptation and increase the risk of a human pandemic. 

The blood tests also showed that any immunity humans gain from the exposure to seasonal flu does not provide protection from G4. G4 was observed to be a highly infectious virus replicating in human cells and causing serious symptoms.