Chinese researchers inform about a new virus with pandemic potential. The news dominated the net earlier this month.
The new virus being studied at the moment is found to be a combination of the 2009 H1N1 variant and a once prevalent strain found in pigs known as G4. Many studies warn us that the virus spread should be “urgently” controlled to avoid a whole new pandemic this lifetime. It also said that H1N1 is highly transmissible and spread around the world in 2009, the virus killed about 285,000 people at once.
The newer strain is believed to be called as G4 EA H1N1, apparently it has been common in china on pig farms since 2016.
As studies tell so far, the virus has infected many people without causing disease, but it just makes the experts worried that the situation could soon go out of control as the G4 viruses have all the signs of a potential pandemic virus and can be deadlier than COVID19.
RISKS AND THREATS
At this stage, researchers say that the G4 virus might not be threat currently but also can’t be ignored. G2 EA H1N1, call grow and multiply in the cells that line the human airways. Therefore, controlling the prevailing G4 EA H1N1 viruses in pigs and close monitoring in human populations, especially the workers in swine industry is of utmost importance at the moment. The researchers, for a study collected 338 blood samples from workers on 15 farms and some from people in nearby households. They found out that 10.4 % of the workers and 4.4 % of the others tested positive for antibodies to G4 EA H1N1. Overall, 20.5 % of the workers between the ages of 18 and 35 tested positive.
WHO has forewarned various nations of the possibility that G4 virus might turn out to be a bigger pandemic and has also called for greater vigilance in people.
HOW CONCERNED SHOULD WE BE?
Researchers found evidence of recent virus in people who worked in abattoirs and the swine industry in China when they carefully studied the data from 2011 to 2018. They also mentioned that the current vaccines do not appear to protect against it, and that might cause a problem.
Prof. kin-chow, a researcher at Nottingham University in the UK, said that, right now the world is distracted with coronavirus but we still must not lose sight of the potential new emerging viruses.
At the point, the alert can be considered as a warning bell as there is no evidence that it is spreading from one person to another, but it is surely exhibiting. Even then it calls for vigil primarily because this is a new strain against which humans would have no inbuilt immunity from the virus.
The last pandemic flu the world encountered was the swine outbreak in 2009, it was less deadly than initially feared, largely because many older people had some immunity to it, probably because it was similar to other flu viruses that have occurred before. But the new G4 virus might be out with some new changes and effects and with no ready vaccines. Therefore, it is important for everyone to be aware of the circumstances and be ready for what might be ahead of us.