New Swine Flu Has A Pandemic Risk


The year 2020 started with the whole world dealing with Covid-19 pandemic, now as we cross six months, China has again identified a new swine virus in pigs. This strain has been predicted for years by China’s influenza virus surveillance system from 2011 to 2018. Researchers found that this strain is a mutated form of the current swine flu H1N1 with genotype G4 reassortment Eurasian avian-like H1N1.

G4 swine flu virus is predicted to be a mixture of human H1N1 and avian swine flu therefore this novel virus is predicted to be able to transmit between animals and humans. Now that this virus has already hit the pig industry it is a matter of time that humans get the disease. Currently, researchers have no evidence of human to human transmission of the virus, but it could be due to the fact that we are unable to detect this virus with our current antibody test in humans. However, research on animals such as ferrets is possible, G4 swine flu virus infected ferrets showed symptoms of weight loss and lung damage similar to its ancestral strain H1N1 swine flu virus.

The researchers predict that G4 swine flu virus in humans will destruct the airway similar to the Covid-19 virus. Since humans are not immune to G4 if infected humans will not have antibodies against the G4 swine flu virus therefore researchers should think of a potential vaccine too before G4 swine flu virus becomes a pandemic moment.

It is currently labelled as a potential pandemic pathogen. The World Health Organisation highlights that it will keep a close eye on the new developments of G4 swine flu virus.