Personal Health

Chinese researchers warn that a new swine flu Virus

A pathogen jumps from an animal to humans, adapts to the new host, and widely used in the connection quickly: This danger has always existed, and persists, as a new study in the American journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” (PNAS) in front of the eyes leads.

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In China, scientists have a new kind of swine flu in the visor, which could trigger according to the researchers, a pandemic. The Virus with the name G4 have “all the essential features to be able to infect humans,” wrote the researchers from several Chinese universities and the Chinese center for disease control and prevention in the US journal. The study involved researchers stressed, however, that no immediate danger from the causative agent was. For example, there is still no evidence that the Virus can also be spread from person to person.

The Virus originates from swine flu

G4 comes from the swine influenza virus H1N1 that circulated as of 2009, in the population. According to the WHO, between 100,000 and 400,000 people have died in a single year. Contrary to initial estimates, the epidemic was much milder than initially feared – obviously many people had some immunity against the pathogen due to its Similarity to other influenza viruses. Even today, the H1N1 Virus is circulating with the annual and seasonal wave of Flu.

For the current study, researchers increased between 2011 to 2018 30,000 in nasal swabs from pigs at slaughterhouses in ten Chinese provinces. In 179 different pig could flu viruses are isolated. Most of them were of a new type, which for 2016 is increased in pigs occurs.

Subsequently, the researchers conducted, among other things, experiments on ferrets, which are used in flu studies because they have similar symptoms as humans. It was observed that G4 is highly infectious in human cells and in the ferret more severe symptoms than other viruses.

Pandemic: human-to-human Transmission as a key factor

Preliminary Tests also showed that any immunity that attract people due to seasonal influenza, offers no protection against G4. According to the researchers, 10.4 percent of the swine were infected in a holder.

The main concern of the scientists is that the Virus can be transmitted from person to person. A proof of this there is not, however. It is worrying that the Virus is adapting to humans and thus the risk of a pandemic in people, the researchers wrote. To transmit the Virus, however, from person to person, would be local outbreaks, for example, in pig fattening farms – rapidly to a standstill. A rapid pandemic spread as is currently the Coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 would then not be possible.

No acute hazard due to pathogens

The study is “a reminder that we are constantly exposed to the risk of the recurrence of zoonotic pathogens and that animals, with which man has more contact with wild animals, as a source for important pandemic viruses can serve,” said James Wood, head of the Department of veterinary medicine at the University of Cambridge in the UK. A zoonotic infection is caused by a pathogen that has jumped from an animal to a human.

Measures to combat the Virus in pigs should be rapidly implemented, the researchers write in the journal. Also workers in the pig industry should be monitored.

Kin-Chow Chang molecular medic at Nottingham University, was involved in the study. In an interview with the BBC he said: “at The Moment we are busy with the Coronavirus, and rightly so. However, we must not lose a potentially dangerous new virus from the eye.” Although the pig virus is not an immediate Problem – “we should not ignore it but”.

Source: WHO / BBC

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