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New H1N1 Influenza Virus Spreads In China, But Infectious Diseases Experts Watch For Panic


Researchers have discovered new strains Influenza virus with “potential pandemic” in China Jump from pigs to humans, causing a series of worrisome headlines.

The early detection of this virus is great, and alerting allows virologists to act to develop new specific tests for this specific influenza virus.

But for now, it is important to understand that there is still no evidence of this particular virus being transmitted from person to person. And antibody tests have shown that Chinese pig workers have it in the past, but there is still no evidence that it is particularly deadly.

What you know so far

China has excellent flu surveillance systems in all states. They are tracking bird flu, human flu, and swine flu, as researchers point out in their paper: “Systematic surveillance of the influenza virus in pigs is Essential for early warning and preparation of the pandemic.”

Researchers discovered what they called the “recently emerging genotype 4 (G4) reassortant Eurasian avian (EA) H1N1 virus” in a swine influenza virus survey from 2011 to 2018. In their paper, the virus is called G4 EA H1N1. It has been ticking since 2013 and accounted for the majority of swine H1N1 viruses in China in 2018.

In plain English, they have discovered a new flu that is a mixture of our human H1N1 flu and bird-based flu.

Of interest are antibody tests that have been found to affect pig workers in these areas. About 10% of the workers they tested (35 out of 338 tested) showed signs of being infected with the new G4 EA H1N1 virus in the past. People between the ages of 18 and 35 seemed likely to have it.

However, it should be noted that a small proportion of household blood samples from people who were expected to have little contact with pigs were also antibody positive (meaning they had been infected with the virus in the past). To do).

Importantly, researchers have yet to find evidence of human-to-human transmission. They discovered “efficient infectivity and aerosol transmission in ferrets”. In short, there is evidence that new viruses can spread from ferrets to ferrets (often used as a human surrogate in influenza studies) by aerosol droplets. Ferrets infected with G4 became ill, lost weight and suffered lung damage, similar to ferrets infected with our seasonal human H1N1 influenza strain.

We also discovered that the virus can infect human respiratory tract cells. Most humans do not yet have antibodies to the G4 virus. That is, most people’s immune system lacks the tools needed to prevent disease when infected with the G4 virus.

In summary, we know that the virus has been around for a few years and can jump from pigs to humans, and what infectious scientists call PPPs, a possible pandemic pathogen. Engrave on all boxes.

How serious is it when humans get this new influenza virus?

There is not enough evidence yet, but it is possible that people with these infections in the past did not think they would be memorable. There are not many details in the new paper However, none of the people sampled by the researchers died of the virus.

There are no signs of an epidemic or spread in the regions of China where this new virus was discovered. China has a good virus monitoring system, so don’t panic right now.

World Health Organization The above It focuses on these trends, “and also emphasizes the inability to stay alert to the flu.”

What’s next?

People in my field-infectious disease research-are wary, but not worried. As new strains of influenza emerge from time to time, you should carefully monitor for signs of person-to-person transmission and be prepared to respond to the flu.

To my knowledge, the specific tests used for human flu do not identify this new G4 EA H1N1 virus, so new tests need to be designed and prepared. Our general influenza A screening test should work.

In other words, someoneInfluenza A“(A type of influenza virus that is common in the flu season), but that’s all the term, and there are many strains of influenza in that category. There are no customized tests yet to detect this new specific influenza strain confirmed in China. But you can make it right away.

In the event of a strange increase in influenza, preparation at the laboratory level is essential, highlighting the importance of pandemic planning, ongoing virus surveillance and comprehensive public health policy.

As with all flus, our best defense is to wash your hands with extreme caution and keep a physical distance from you or others if they are totally sick.

Ian M. Mackay,Part-time lecturer Queensland University

This article is reissued from conversation Under Creative Commons license. Read Original work..


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