As the world battles Coronavirus, a group of infectious diseases researchers are afraid that a new strain of flu viruses discovered among pigs in China may mutate to infect human beings.
COVID-19 that has killed more than 400,000 thousand people globally since it was first announced in November year originated from Wuhan in China.
A report published by BBC News UK on its Twitter handle few hours ago said scientists are concerned that the flu could mutate further to spread from one person to another and can trigger a global outbreak like the novel Coronavirus.
“So far, it hasn’t posed a big threat, but Prof Kin-Chow Chang and colleagues who have been studying it, say it is one to keep an eye on.”
Chang who works at Nottingham University in the UK said “While this new virus is not an immediate problem, we should not ignore it.”
The virus, which the researchers call G4 EA H1N1, can grow and multiply in the cells lining the human airways.
They have found evidence of recent infection starting in people who worked in abattoirs, and the swine industry in China.
“Current flu vaccines do not appear to protect against it, although they could be adapted to do so if needed,” according to BBC.
Reacting too, Robert Webster, who explained that an influenza investigator who recently retired from St. Jude Children’s Reaserch Hospital, US, said it is “a guessing game” as to whether this strain will mutate to become a pandemic.
The last swine flu outbreak which occurred in 2009 in Mexico was far deadlier than initially assumed.
The virus is a unique blend of three lineages: one similar to strains found in European and Asian birds, the HINI strain that caused the 2009 pandemic, and the North American HINI that has genes from Avian, human, and pig influenza viruses.