New Delhi: After the horrifying outbreak of coronavirus that has affected millions across the world, researchers in China have now discovered a new type of swine flu that has the potential to trigger another pandemic, a study was published on Monday. Also Read - India-China Standoff: Rajnath Singh Cancels Ladakh Trip, 'Waiting' For Chinese Military to Disengage
According to the United States science journal PNAS, the new Swine Flu, named G4, has descended from the H1N1 virus that caused a pandemic affecting parts of the world in 2009. Also Read - India Concerned, Keeping Close Watch on Hong Kong-China Situation: UN Ambassador
The G4 influenza has been observed as highly infectious during experiments on ferrets and it possesses “all the essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans”. Moreover, any immunity gain against the seasonal flu did not show any protection from G4 swine flu. Also Read - National Security Law in Hong Kong: 200 People Arrested on Day 1 of Anti-protest Act
Of 30,000 nasal swabs from pigs in slaughterhouses and a veterinary hospital in 10 Chinese provinces, researchers isolated 179 swine flu viruses.
Scientists collected various blood samples and discovered that at least 10.4 per cent of swine workers have developed antibodies, hence, already been infected by the new swine flu along with nearly 4.4 per cent of the general population.
While the new influenza has already passed from animals to humans with severe effect, scientists worry about its potential extent of passing from human to human.
“It is of concern that human infection of G4 virus will further human adaptation and increase the risk of a human pandemic,” the research team said, urging for measures to monitor pig workers.
With the monsoon season setting in, doctors are already worried about the possibility of swine flu coinfection amid the COVID-19 pandemic. China had already recorded a case where both coronavirus and swine flu viruses were found in a patient’s body, making it extremely challenging for doctors to diagnose the symptoms.
Although, some cases of influenza A (H1N1 swine flu) were already recorded in a few southern states, India has not yet officially reported the coinfection of the two viral diseases.