A flu virus, with the potential to cause pandemics, has been discovered in China by scientists. The virus is found in pigs, but scientists say it can also infect humans.
Researchers are concerned that the virus could mutate and spread rapidly from person to person, leading to a global outbreak. They say it is not an urgent problem, but it is likely that it could infect humans, so monitoring is needed. It is worth noting that as a new virus, people have little or no immunity to it.
Recall that the last pandemic the world experienced before coronavirus was that of swine flu in 2009, which was less deadly than previously thought because many older people had immunity to it. This is most likely due to the great similarity that the swine flu had with other influenza viruses that had circulated years ago. From this virus, known as A / H1N1pdm09, people are protected from the annual flu vaccine.
While the new virus that has been detected in China has similarities to swine flu, but there are also some changes.
So far it is not seen as a major threat, but researchers say it should be monitored.
The virus, which researchers have dubbed G4 EA H1N1, can grow and multiply in cells in the airways of humans.
They found traces of the new infection in people who worked in slaughterhouses and the pork industry in China, from 2011-2018 data.
Current flu vaccines do not appear to protect against it, although they may be appropriate to do so if necessary.