With the COVID-19 pandemic still causing death and misery around the world, people are now having to face up to a possible new virus that could be a significant threat to human health.

A new form of swine flu recently discovered in China is said to have “pandemic potential,” according to researchers.

The disease, also known as the G4 virus, originates in genetic form from the 2009, H1N1 swine flu that has already caused its own pandemic in recent years, killing over 18,000 and sickening up to 1.4 billion according to some sources.

A study published in the scientific journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ (PNAS) indicates that the G4 virus contains the “essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus.”

C: Pascal Debrunner – Unsplash

Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University’s public health school in the U.S., nonetheless, has gone online to tell the public not to worry too much.

She posted on Twitter, “Our understanding of what is a potential pandemic influenza strain is limited.”

The doctor further indicated that this virus does indeed meet a lot of the basic criteria to be deemed a potential pandemic, yet it is too early to assert whether or not the virus is going to cause a hypothetical 2020 flu pandemic

The G4 virus was discovered during pig surveillance, at China-based research institutions including the Shandong Agricultural University, and the Chinese National Influenza Center.

The virus, furthermore, is reported to have shown a dramatic increase in swine populations since 2016, which has also caused worldwide concern after further tests demonstrate the virus can now infect humans by binding to human cells and receptors.

Worse still, those who have received the supposedly protective seasonal flu vaccines have no immunity to the G4 virus, despite the fact that the G4 virus itself contains H1N1 genes.

China, a nation with a massive pig farming industry, has already worked to attract the world’s attention to the new virus issue, perhaps in response to global claims of secrecy and cover-ups regarding the COVID-19 outbreak that also came from China.

Many have suggested the Chinese government now needs to pay close attention to the newly-found swine flu, and take proper precautionary measures to prevent its spread.

Taiwanese authorities have also held a press conference to answer questions regarding the G4 virus, but at time of typing the the government in Taipei has yet to take any measures to confront the disease.

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