CMAAO Coronavirus Facts and Myth Buster: G4 EA H1N1
964: G4 New hybrid Flu Virus in Pigs with Pandemic Potential: G4 EA H1N1
- A new flu virus (hybrid) that has been identified in Chinese pigs has features that make it more infectious to humans and needs to be watched closely in case it becomes a potential pandemic virus.
- Chinese researchers looked at influenza viruses found in pigs between 2011 and 2018 and identified a “G4” strain of H1N1 that possesses “all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus”, as per a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- G4 includes sequences from a virus discovered in birds in Europe and Asia, and the one that caused the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, which was a hybrid of human, swine and bird flu viruses.
- Pig farm workers were also found to have elevated levels of the virus in their blood.
- Pigs are considered as important “mixing vessels” for the generation of pandemic influenza viruses.
- China acted against an outbreak of avian H1N1 in 2009, and restricted incoming flights from affected countries and also put tens of thousands of people into quarantine.
- The newly identified virus is a recombination of the 2009 H1N1 variant and a once prevalent strain found in pigs.
- But while it is capable of infecting humans, there seems to be no imminent risk of a new pandemic.
- Theres no evidence that G4 is circulating among humans, despite five years of extensive exposure.
- Are these experimental viruses?
[Source: science.thewire.in; economictimes.indiatimes.com; globaltimes.cn]
Dr KK Aggarwal
President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA