Beijing, June 30: After the deadly coronavirus, a new type of swine flu, having the potential to trigger a pandemic again, has been discovered in China. According to a study published in the US science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on Monday, the new swine flu like virus is genetically descended from the H1N1 strain. The newly found virus is named G4, it is a descended of the H1N1 virus that caused a pandemic in 2009. Swine Flu Prevention: Important Tips to Stay Protected From H1N1 Infection.

The research revealed that G4 was highly infectious and was replicating in human cells. Moreover, the blood tests showed 10.4% of swine workers had already been infected with the new virus. The authors called for urgent measures to monitor people working with pigs. According to a report by AFP, the virus has already passed from animals to humans as tests revealed that 4.4% of the general population appeared to have been exposed. However, no evidence has been found yet that it can be passed from human to human.  African Swine Fever Detected in India for 1st Time; 2,500 Pigs Die Across 306 Villages in Assam.

“It is of concern that human infection of G4 virus will further human adaptation and increase the risk of a human pandemic,” the researchers said, according to AFP. The World Health Organization (WHO) had declared H1N1 a pandemic in 2009. In 2009, a strain of swine flu called H1N1 infected many people across the world. The virus is contagious and can spread from human to human. Its  symptoms include fever, chills and sore throat. The infection is similar to that of seasonal influenza.

The study reveals that researchers carried out the study between 2011 and 2018 in which a total of 30,000 nasal swabs from pigs in slaughterhouses and 1,000 more from a veterinary hospital in Chinese provinces were collected. The swabs collected had 179 swine influenza viruses after which the researchers found that the majority of the pigs were infected with the G4 strain of the H1N1 virus.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 30, 2020 11:40 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website