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Scientists Find Another Flu Virus With ‘Pandemic Potential’ In China

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The Chinese scientists have identified another flu virus that is said to have the potential to become a ‘pandemic’. The said virus is carried by pigs but it can infect humans that too with a capability to “spread easily from person to person”.

According to a news report published in BBC, the Chinese researchers are concerned that the virus could mutate further and it can spread easily among humans that can ultimately trigger a global outbreak.

“It has all the hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans and needs close monitoring. As it’s new, people could have little or no immunity to the virus,” the scientists wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, adding that some measures to control the virus in pigs, and the close monitoring of swine industry workers, should be swiftly implemented.

The said flu is among the top disease threats that experts are watching for, even as the world attempts to bring to an end the current coronavirus pandemic. The flu strain that has been identified in China is similar to 2009 swine flu, but with some new changes.

Kin-Chow Chang who works at Nottingham University in the UK, told the news outlet: “Right now we are distracted with coronavirus and rightly so. But we must not lose sight of potentially dangerous new viruses.” The virus which the researchers call G4 EA H1N1, can grow and multiply in the cells that line the human airways.

Prof James Wood, head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge, said the work “comes as a salutary reminder” that we are constantly at risk of new emergence of pathogens, and that farmed animals, with which humans have greater contact than with wildlife, may act as the source for important pandemic viruses.

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