Scientists discover flu virus with ‘pandemic potential’ in China


NEW DELHI | JUNE 30, 2020:

Scientists have discovered a new strain of flu that has the potential to become a pandemic in China.

The discovery has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The new flu strain, which the researchers call G4 EA H1N1, is similar to the 2009 swine flu.

They also found evidence of recent infection in people who worked in abattoirs and the swine industry in China. Researchers are now concerned that the virus could mutate to the extent where it can spread easily from person to person and trigger a global outbreak.

While it is not an immediate problem, researchers believe that the virus has "all the hallmarks" of being highly adapted to infect humans.

"To prevent it from spreading, we need to monitor it closely. Measures to control the virus in pigs, and the close monitoring of swine industry workers, should be swiftly implemented," said researchers.

This latest development comes as the world is still struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.