WHO coordinating with China to assess new swine flu strain

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 01 Jul 2020

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The World Health Organisation (WHO) is coordinating with the Chinese authorities to hold a proper assessment on a new strain of the H1N1 swine flu that was reportedly spreading among pig farm workers in that country.

"Our system also detects this outbreak and we are now starting to question about this virus,” WHO regional director for the Western Pacific Dr Takeshi Kasai told reporters at the joint virtual World Economic Forum-WHO Western Pacific region media briefing Wednesday (July 1).

He added that the current information WHO has on the new virus was insufficient for it to take further action.

"We are really preparing for influenza infections, in addition to this Covid-19. The preparations and improving the capacity with Covid-19 can be very good (groundwork) for those new with the influenza pandemic,” said Kasai.

A new strain of the H1N1 swine flu virus was spreading silently among workers on pig farms in China and should be "urgently” controlled to avoid another pandemic, a team of scientists said in a new study.

The highly transmissible H1N1 spread around the world in 2009, killing about 285,000 people and morphing into seasonal flu.

The newer strain, known as G4 EA H1N1, has been common on China’s pig farms since 2016 and replicates efficiently in human airways, according to the study published on Monday. So far, it has infected some people without causing disease, but health experts fear that could change without warning.- Bernama

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WHO , Swine flu , Pig farms , China


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