Thailand’s leading virologist Dr. Yong Poovorawan says that the new swine flu G4 discovered recently in China does have the potential to become a pandemic but there is no need to be alarmed at this point.
However, the doctor says that the G4 virus is a mutation of the H1N1 virus that was discovered in 2009. From this mutation, humans would unlikely have any immunity if it were to transmit from pigs to humans.
Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci says in a US Senate hearing that the virus is being monitored closely, stating that it has similar properties with both the H1N1 virus and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.
“They’re seeing the virus in swine, in pigs now, that has same characteristics of the 2009 H1N1, of the original 1918, of which many of our flu viruses have remnants, as well as segments from other hosts, like swine,” he added.
A report in Asia One says that the virus is able to grow and multiply in the cells of human’s respiratory system. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, scientists warned those working in the swine industry should have their health closely monitored and measures to control the spread of the G4 virus should be strictly followed.
“We’ve always had potential pandemic flu-like viruses that we worry about; this is one of the viruses we’ll have to keep track on, watch and understand what harmful effects it could cause to human, just like we do for H5N1 and H7N9, which are also the two pandemic flu viruses that we’ve been monitoring closely.”
Sources: Asia One | Axios | The Thaiger