The new swine flu virus with three different strain combinations having the potential to become a pandemic has been discovered in China.
It has been named the G4 or G4 EA H1N1.
This, as the world reels over the COVID-19 virus, scientists are worried the G4 could further mutate and lead to a human to human transmission and spark yet another global outbreak.
However, there has not yet been evidence it can be transmitted from one person to another – as of yet though it can be infected from animals to humans.
The virus was found on a study of people working in Chinese pig abattoirs industry.
Pigs are intermediate hosts for the generation of pandemic influenza virus. The newly discovered influenza virus is similar to the 2009 swine flu but with a more complex strain.
It is a combination of three different flu strains: one similar to strains discovered in Asian and European birds, the H1N1 strain, and a North American H1N1 that has genes from avian, human, and pig influenza viruses.
The scientists who studied it have said it hasn’t shown threats like its 2009 counterpart but has potential to, if not monitored.
Influenza viruses are rare but if new strains like this emerge, they pose a huge threat if they get transmitted from one person to another.
The world is working on attempts to bring down the current coronavirus pandemic
The study was published in the US journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).