A new strain of the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, has been spreading across pig farms in China. The newer strain, G4 EA H1N1, has existed since 2016 and can duplicate in human airways. Thus far, the virus has infected some, but has not caused disease.
“G4 viruses have all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus,” a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences states.
The next step in containing the virus will be to determine whether any of the infected workers got the virus from other workers. In addition, it will be important to know if any infected parties spread the virus to their families.
Dr. Fauci says new swine flu strain discovered in China with pandemic potential is not "immediate threat" pic.twitter.com/vCjsEuVoML
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) June 30, 2020
“We need to be worried about any disease with the potential to spread human to human, ” Lin-Min Huang of National Taiwan University Hospital said.
There are no reported cases of the newer swine flu strain, but experts are keeping their eye on it. During a hearing on Tuesday, Anthony Fauci said that the virus was not an immediate threat. However, he did note that it is “something we need to keep our eye on” for the future.