New virus in China, originating from pigs

Scientists are raising the alarm about new virus in China, coming from pigs. In China, a new flu virus has been discovered that has the potential to cause a pandemic. It is now found among pigs but can also jump to humans. According to the researchers, the virus is fully equipped to infect people and must be closely monitored. Because it's a new virus, people are hardly immune to it or hardly immune. Scientists fear that it may mutate and spread rapidly from person to person, leading to a global outbreak. The first cases of infection in humans have been found in slaughterhouses and in the meat industry.

Since August 2018 has African swine fever (ASF) struck first in China and later in other parts of Asia. The consequences for the region are enormous, millions of animals are being slaughtered and the epidemic seems to be taking on an unprecedented scale. Due to the decrease in the number of pigs in China alone, there will be a worldwide impact on the market for pigs and pork, as well as raw materials for pig feed. It's one of the biggest outbreaks of any animal disease ever. Are there any direct consequences for the Netherlands due to an increased threat of virus introduction into our country?

A new flu virus is high on the list of threats to public health while the world is still fighting the coronavirus. The last time there was a global flu outbreak was in 2009 with the so-called swine flu. Older people eventually proved to be more resistant to this virus than initially thought, which means that the deadly consequences come along.

The new virus has some similarities with that of 2009, and so far there is no serious threat, but Professor Kin-Chow Chang of the British Nottingham University, who studies the virus, argues to the BBC that vigilance is needed. The virus, called G4 EA H1N1, settles and multiplies in the respiratory tract. Existing vaccines do not provide protection.

Source: BNN/VARA