Chinese scientists have discovered a new strain of swine flu with pandemic potential. A new strain called H1N1 G4 EA and has some similarities with the swine flu virus in 2009 that began in Mexico and caused a worldwide outbreak in the same year, reports 9 News.
Researchers claim that despite the fact that this strain tolerated by pigs, it has "all the hallmarks of" consisting in possibility of transmission from person to person. To date, the strain does not pose a threat, however, scientists have discovered evidence of recent infestation of new virus among workers in slaughterhouses and pork in China.
"Pigs are considered carriers or "vessels for mixing" pandemic influenza viruses" the researchers write in an article published in "the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).
Scientists estimate that the systematic surveillance of influenza viruses in swine is important for early warning of potential pandemics. It was also found that the virus is easily transmitted between ferrets.
The researchers wrote in the article that needs to be quickly implemented measures to combat the virus in pigs and the close monitoring of their populations. The scientific community needs to accelerate the work on vaccine development against the virus.
"From the data presented it is clear that this swine flu virus that can affect people" – said in an interview with Science Magazine, commenting on the insights of colleagues, Edward Holmes, a biologist from the University of Sydney, studying the pathogens.
According to him, is oblivious of the fact that the situation with the new strain need to be closely monitored.