We are already 6 months into the Coronavirus pandemic as new research warns of a new swine flu pandemic around us. The new research study is currently focussing its studies on the new strain of the H1N1 flu virus. According to the researchers the G4 EA H1N1 needs to be dealt with “urgently” in order to prevent a potential pandemic. At this point, the virus has only been found in China, with transmission occurring through contact between pigs and humans.
Even though human transmission of H1N1 is not as contagious as the COVID-19. Knowing about another virus with pandemic potential during a global pandemic is definitely unsettling but the real question is, should we panic?
— Nature (@nature) July 2, 2020
Swine Flu: Is a new pandemic on the rise?
Dr. Theresa MacPhail, a medical anthropologist, professor at Stevens Institute of Technology and author of The Viral Network: Pathography of the H1N1 Influenza Pandemic, says that this “new” strain of the swine flu virus has actually been around since 2016. The new research published on June 29th in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is part of that system.
The research study monitored pigs in 10 Chinese provinces from 2011 to 2018. According to MacPhail, the influenza surveillance system first noticed this strain of H1N1 becoming more virulent in pigs in 2014. Flu is a constant concern for global health, and in reality, people are actually much more prepared for a flu pandemic than they were for Coronavirus.
At this stage, the 2020 flu shot has already gone into production, so if the new strain of H1N1 does start spreading between humans, it won’t be included in this year’s vaccine. However, MacPhail urges everyone, especially older adults and immunocompromised individuals, to still get the flu shot this fall, because people should take any precautions available to protect ourselves and others from potential health risks. Let us know what you have to say about this in the comments section below! Also, don’t forget to join us on our Telegram Channel for more such latest updates and discussions.
Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.