While the world is still reeling under the pandemic caused by Coronavirus, researchers in China have found out a new strain of virus called G4 virus which is a form of Swine Flu and has the potential to infect humans also, it has a potential to cause another pandemic.
G4 virus is related to the H1N1 virus which caused widespread illness in the year 2009 where everybody would have heard about Swine Flu.
The researchers and scientists collected over 30,000 nasal swabs from the year 2011 – 2018 of pigs in slaughterhouses and veterinary teaching hospitals and when they were researching they found over 180 different strains of virus and 1, in particular, was resurfacing every year and that is named as G4 virus. Although other strains of the virus were diminishing every year, the G4 kept popping up which concerned the researchers.
When the scientists tested the virus, they found that G4 has the potential to infect humans by affecting Human Cells and receptors, also it can replicate very quickly in human airway cells which is a hallmark to create pandemic and affect people in large scale.
Amesh A Adalja, an MD and Scholar from John Hopkins Centre of Health Security said that the G4 virus is a newly discovered strain of the H1N1 Influenza Virus. “It’s basically a virus that’s found in pigs but has combined the swine flu virus with the H1N1 virus that circulates in humans,”
He also said that experts don’t always know when Swine Flu emerges but they case sporadic infection in fairs but most end quickly, however, the 2009 swine flu epidemic took off.
Researchers periodically will find the candidate viruses which have the potential of causing diseases. Dr. Schaffner from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine says “Periodically, one of these viruses pick up human genes that permit them to circulate freely among the population. Then we get a new pandemic,”
Currently, even though the virus has been discovered, doctors say that there is nothing to worry as of now as this is a strain from H1N1, one needs to get vaccinated for it, however, if it starts circulating in herd then it will be difficult to stop.
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