CMAAO Coronavirus Facts and Myth Buster: G4 EA H1N1

964: G4 New hybrid Flu Virus in Pigs with Pandemic Potential:  G4 EA H1N1

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Pig farm workers were also found to have elevated levels of the virus in their blood.
  5. Pigs are considered as important “mixing vessels” for the generation of pandemic influenza viruses.
  6. 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.
  7. The newly identified virus is a recombination of the 2009 H1N1 variant and a once prevalent strain found in pigs.
  8. But while it is capable of infecting humans, there seems to be no imminent risk of a new pandemic.
  9. Theres no evidence that G4 is circulating among humans, despite five years of extensive exposure.
  10. Are these experimental viruses?

[Source: science.thewire.in; economictimes.indiatimes.com; globaltimes.cn]

Dr KK Aggarwal

President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA

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