Could Pigs Be The Source Of The Next Pandemic?

A strain of the swine flu virus has become prevalent in pigs in China and has the potential to spread to humans and become another pandemic, researchers claim.  Experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences say pigs are a key intermediate host or “mixing vessel” for viruses spreading from wild animals into humans.  The Chinese research team have been studying outbreaks of swine flu in pig farms across the country and say the latest strain can pass to humans.  Only two people are confirmed to have caught the virus, dubbed G4 EA H1N1, since the first outbreak in 2016, but researchers say it is highly adapted to infect humans.  Researchers called for monitoring of farms and people working on or near them as further transmission could cause the virus to “adapt and become a pandemic.”

Photo Credit: The Honglei Sun via Science.com

Posted in COVID19, News
Scott Fox and Kat Callaghan