New swine flu strain in China hogs has pandemic potential

A new strain of swine flu has been discovered in pigs in China and researchers say it has the potential to infect humans and reach pandemic levels.

It has infected some workers who have had no signs of the virus. But a study says that could change and it could spread quickly among people.

The new “G4” strain is similar to the last global swine flu outbreak of 2009 which was less severe than expected. That strain is covered in the annual human flu vaccine.

The scientists in China say the new H1N1 virus, though, is somewhat different and should be watched closely and urgently controlled to prevent another pandemic.

The study is published in the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ and is based on the surveillance of pigs in 10 Chinese provinces from 2011 to 2018.

The study reportedly was submitted for review last December, right before COVID-19 was discovered.

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