New swine flu virus with potential to trigger pandemic found by Chinese researchers
Chinese researchers have identified a new type of swine flu which has the potential of triggering a pandemic, according to a study published in the US science journal PNAS.
The new flu is named G4 and according to researchers it is genetically descended from the H1N1 strain that sparked a pandemic in 2009.
It possesses all the essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans, said the authors, scientists at Chinese universities and Chinas Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings of the study were published on Monday.
The study was conducted between 2011 and 2018 and during this time period the researchers collected 30,000 nasal swabs from pigs in slaughterhouses in 10 Chinese provinces and in a veterinary hospital.