Chinese scientists have discovered a new strain of flue that has potential to become the next pandemic, BBC reported on Tuesday.
The flu, which is carried by pigs, can also infect humans, the report added.
The scientists have said that it is not an immediate problem, but the virus’ ability to mutate gives it ‘all the hallmarks’ of being highly adapted to infect humans. Currently, people have little or no immunity to this particular type of flu-causing virus.
The virus strain has been named G4 and is a direct descendent of the H1N1 strain that caused a swine flu pandemic in 2009.
G4 was observed to be highly infectious, replicating in human cells and causing more serious symptoms in ferrets than other viruses do. According to an article in The Guardian, tests showed that any immunity humans get from exposure to seasonal flu would not protect them from G4.
The world is already going through one of the worse pandemics it has witnessed, with the novel coronavirus COVID-19 infecting over 1 crore people across the world, and killing over 5 lakh of those. Furthermore, the pandemic that resulted in a global lockdown has resulted in a global recession with companies shutting down and people ending up jobless.
India, too, has been badly affected by the COVID-19, with the number of people getting infected crossing 5.5 lakh level.
While there is no scare about the new Chinese Swine Flu infecting anybody, it would be advisable for China to keep the World Health Organisation on high alert, as the world cannot afford another pandemic.