Scientists Find It Difficult To Assess The Pandemic Potential Of A New Virus In China

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Scientists Find It Difficult To Assess The Pandemic Potential Of A New Virus In China
Scientists Find It Difficult To Assess The Pandemic Potential Of A New Virus In China

Video: Scientists Find It Difficult To Assess The Pandemic Potential Of A New Virus In China

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Video: Chinese researchers identify new virus with ‘pandemic potential’ 2023, January
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Scientists find it difficult to assess the pandemic potential of a new virus in China

The G4 virus at various times infected 4.4% of the PRC population. It is currently unknown whether it is transmitted from person to person.

Scientists find it difficult to assess the pandemic potential of a new virus in China
Scientists find it difficult to assess the pandemic potential of a new virus in China

Photo: CDC Global / Flickr

A new strain of swine flu virus has been discovered in China. Scientists believe it has pandemic potential. At various times, about 10% of the country's pig breeders were infected with it, but now it is not known whether it can be transmitted from person to person. Reported by The Guardian

Chinese scientists talked about the discovery of a dangerous new type of swine flu, which they called "similar to bird flu." Their article was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The new strain is named G4. Genetic analysis showed that he is a descendant of the virus that caused the pandemic in 2009.

Scientists report that the virus has "all the mandatory traits that indicate its high adaptability to infecting people." They worry that the G4 virus "further adapts to humans, increasing the risk of a pandemic."

The new virus was discovered after scientists analyzed the results of about 30,000 swabs from pigs' nasal swabs collected in slaughterhouses and veterinary clinics in 10 provinces in China. From 2011 to 2018, scientists isolated 179 viruses, but most of them did not inspire serious concern.

To determine which of the viruses is the most dangerous, scientists have conducted many experiments. Including, they infected ferrets with the flu: it is believed that these animals have respiratory symptoms similar to those of humans.

The G4 virus has demonstrated the ability to multiply in human cell cultures and caused more severe symptoms in ferrets than any other virus tested. Scientists also learned that the immunity that people get after getting sick with seasonal flu does not protect against G4.

Analysis of antibodies in the blood of pig breeders in China showed that about 10% of them were already infected with the G4 virus. The study shows that 4.4% of the country's inhabitants have had such flu. However, it is not known today whether this infection can be transmitted from person to person.

James Wood, head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge University, commented on the situation for The Guardian:

"This scientific work is a useful reminder that we are constantly at risk of new zoonotic infections, and that farm animals - with which humans come into contact more often than wild animals - can be a source of important pandemic viruses."

Zoonoses are a group of infectious and parasitic diseases, the pathogens of which were transmitted from animals to humans.

“We just don't know a pandemic will occur until it actually happens. Will this be one of them? God only knows,”Robert Webster, an influenza researcher who previously worked at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, told Science.

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