Newly discovered virus may threaten yet another pandemic
A new type of swine flu has been discovered in China. The flu can infect humans and it has the potential to cause a future global pandemic-said a research report. The research was conducted by Chinese scientists. Moreover, the new virus is called 'G4 virus' which can transfer from swine to human.
In the midst of the ongoing Corona pandemic we note with much apprehension, the new virus has all the characteristics to cause a pandemic even though it does not create an immediate global health risk. G4 is genetically descended from the H1N1 swine flu that caused a pandemic in 2009, killing an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people globally.
Before we become alert, the Chinese authorities must take appropriate preventive measures to contain the virus within China and ensure it does not spread out. This virus has already infected pig farmers in China. The worrying fact is that, though G4 holds H1N1 genes, people who have received seasonal flu vaccines won't have any immunity. The transmission of the virus from pig to human could lead to severe infection and even death. Symptoms of the disease are similar to that of regular human influenza: fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, coughing, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
With a bit of luck at hand, there is yet no evidence whether the newly discovered virus spreads from person to person. Simultaneously, it is not confirmed if the virus changes its characteristics: Taking new form to infect from person to person. We leave that matter to the hands of researchers and the future to tell.
Since the G4 virus has the potentials to cause another pandemic, the spread of this virus must be quelled at the initial stage. In order to prevent China from being an epicentre of another pandemic, Chinese authorities concerned need to control the spread of the virus among pigs and closely monitor people who work with the animals.
However, in Bangladesh pig farming is limited, but this ominous finding must reach them. We expect our pig farmers to remain alert. The bottom-line regarding the discovery of the G4 Virus is that - it comes as a salutary reminder that we are constantly at risk of new emergence of zoonotic pathogens and that farmed animals - with which humans have greater contact may act as the source for important pandemic viruses. Panicking or overreacting would only invite further chaos - China must share the research findings and jointly work with the rest of the world, so to ensure that all possibilities of an endemic or pandemic is nipped in the bud.