Chinese researchers are reported to have identified a new type of swine flu that has the potential to be outbreak.
Scientists in China say that the recently emerged strain has been carried by pigs but can infect humans. A study on the new virus was published in the National Academy of Sciences Proceedings Book on Monday.
Researchers say the virus has “all distinctive features” highly adapted to spread from person to person and trigger a global epidemic.
Given that there is a new development, people will probably have little or no immunity.
Professor Kin-Chow Chang and colleagues at Nottingham University say that they are closely watching this new breed, called the G4 EA H1N1.
The new species, which they find evidence among people working in Chinese slaughterhouses, can grow and multiply in cells that cover the human respiratory tract.
Kin-Chow told the BBC: “Right, we distracted us with the coronavirus and rightly. However, we should not overlook potentially dangerous new viruses. “
The last swine flu outbreak started in Mexico in 2009, but it wasn’t as deadly as it initially feared. Many older people had immunity because it looked like older strains.
Robert Webster, an influenza researcher, told Science magazine that it is a “guessing game” whether the new virus will develop to spread among humans.
“We don’t know that an outbreak will occur until the d-n event takes place,” he said. “Will he do this? God knows.”