As if the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t stressful enough, there was a new flu strain discovered in China that could cause another pandemic.
According to BBC, researchers have found new a virus called G4 EA H1N1 that is carried by pigs but has the potential to infect humans. “The researchers are concerned that it could mutate further so that it can spread easily from person to person, and trigger a global outbreak.”
They add, “While it is not an immediate problem, it has all the hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans and needs close monitoring.”
Researchers explain that G4 EA H1N1 is similar to the 2009 swine flu (A/H1N1pdm09), but it has slight differences. They also add that it has cause for concern because, as of right now, people have little or no immunity to it. Furthermore, current flu vaccines don’t appear to protect against it.
Prof Kin-Chow Chang, from Nottingham University in the UK, stresses the importance of being aware of the new virus. “We should not ignore it,” he states. He lastly adds, “Right now we are distracted with coronavirus and rightly so. But we must not lose sight of potentially dangerous new viruses.”