Virus with ‘pandemic potential’ found in China.
A new strain of flu that has the potential to become a pandemic has been identified in China by scientists.
The new flu strain is similar to the swine flu that spread globally in 2009.
It emerged recently and is carried by pigs, but can infect humans, they say.
The researchers are concerned that it could mutate further so that it can spread easily from person to person, and trigger a global outbreak.
As it’s new, people could have little or no immunity to the virus.
A bad new strain of influenza is among the top disease threats that experts are watching for, even as the world attempts to bring to an end the current corona virus pandemic.
The last pandemic flu the world encountered the swine flu outbreak of 2009 that began in Mexico was less deadly than initially feared.
largely because many older people had some immunity to it.
probably because of its similarity to other flu viruses that had circulated years before.
That virus, called A/H1N1pdm09, is now covered by the annual flu vaccine to make sure people are protected.
The virus, which the researchers call G4 EA H1N1, can grow and multiply in the cells that line the human airways.
They 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.