What is G4EA H1N1? The New Swine Flu Virus Found in Chinese Pigs

The National Academy of Sciences has identified a new swine flu virus in Chinese pigs that may be pandemic.

New swine flu virus found in Chinese pigs
The New swine flu virus found in Chinese pigs. FILE PHOTO

A 7-year study published yesterday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has identified a new swine flu virus in Chinese pigs (G4EA H1N1) that may be pandemic.

  • New swine flu virus with the pandemic potential found in Chinese pigs
  • The National Academy of Sciences has identified a new swine flu virus (G4EA H1N1)
  • G4 EA H1N1 can only be sent to people from pigs, without human transmission
  • There are researchers in labs that already monitor G4 EA H1N1
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How do scientists know this? These new viruses have genes similar to the flu virus that caused the 2009 H1N1 influenza  epidemic (the informal nickname “swine flu”). Right now, G4 EA H1N1 can only be sent to people from pigs, without human transmission.

However, it is one of the most common viruses found in pigs since 2016. About 30% of farmworkers exposed to compromised pigs are affected.

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Vaccinated pigs

As the world continues to catch up with the COVID-19 epidemic, it is more important to move forward with this new virus. As of right now, no one is immune to it except the farmers who come into contact with infected pigs.

But creating a vaccine for this virus would be a much easier task than building one for COVID-19 since a related 2009 influenza vaccine  already exists. Researchers don’t have to start from scratch. Once the new vaccine is ready, farmers can vaccinate their pigs. This will prevent the spread of the virus from pig-to-pig or pig-to-man, and prevent further transmission of it.

Flu virus in Chinese pigs – Should we care?

Scientists say we should not be bothered by this virus. Administering COVID-19 is still our biggest priority. But we can be sure that there are researchers in labs that already monitor G4 EA H1N1.

Research veterinarians at veterinary colleges have been doing this for years. Why? This is because they know that livestock and domestic animals are more likely to transmit zoonotic viruses to people.

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Keep track of viruses like we track volcanoes

The lesson of this new invention is not to panic and worry. The real step is to take and prepare for early threats seriously. Even early signs of a new zoonotic virus should inform researchers that a vaccine is necessary.

Accordingly, we should think of new viruses as volcanoes or fault lines. Even the active volcano does not erupt every day. But it is still important to be prepared for the day when it does. In that respect, we will not suffer as a result of the risk that we may have anticipated.

Musasi Isaac Christopher

An aspiring Lifestyle blogger who specializes in health, food and restaurant sectors. WhatsApp me on +256759100143.

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