Virus having G4 EA H1N1 Strain Found In China
In a New Study published on Monday 29 June 2020 within the journal proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Scientists warned against a replacement strain of the H1N1 Swine Flu Virus is spreading in piggery workers in China and said that it should be urgently controlled to avoid another pandemic.
Reportedly, the study said that the new strain named G4 EA H1N1 replicates efficiently in human airways and has all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus.
The study is predicated on the surveillance of pigs in between 2011 and 2018 in 10 Chinese provinces. Within the last three years, the researchers collected 338 blood samples from 15 pig farms and 230 from people in nearby households.
It was administered by a collaboration between Government Agencies in China, including the middle for Disease Control and Prevention. The Planet Health Organisation, and therefore the refore the scientists from several Universities in China and the University of Nottingham in UK .
The G4 EA H1N1 virus was found to efficiently infect through aerosol transmission, causing severe clinical symptoms in them like sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and a mean maximum weight loss starting from 7.3 to 9.8% of the mammal body mass.
While thus far, the virus has only infected people without causing any disease (fever, coughing, etc.), within the future with further mutations, it could become more aggressive like COVID 19, a was quoted as saying by TOI.
Participants between 18 and 35 years aged had about 20 percent positive rates of the virus in their blood.
“Such infectivity greatly enhances the chance for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses” the scientists said within the study.
Also, low antigenic (a foreign substance, such as a toxin or a component of a virus, bacterium, or parasite) cross-reactivity of human flu vaccine strains with G4 reassortant (is the mixing of the genetic material of a species into new combinations in different individuals) EA H1N1 virus indicates that pre-existing population immunity doesn’t provide protection against G4 viruses.
The scientists said two recent cases of G4 viral infection, reported in 2016 and 2019, were of a 46 and a 9 year old, respectively. According to the study, 2 patients had neighbours who reared pigs, suggesting that G4 virus “could transmit from swine to human, and cause severe infection and even death.”
“Thus, it’s necessary to strengthen the surveillance effort of G4 EA viruses among swine and human populations,” the researchers wrote within the study. The last time H1N1 caused an epidemic in 2009. That strain had a comparatively low death rate of 0.02 percent. It killed about 285,000 people.
Michael Ryan, executive of the WHO Health Emergencies Program Emphasised that G4 EA H1N1 isn’t a replacement virus. “This may be a finding from surveillance that’s been administered over a few years” he was quoted as saying by TNIE.
Why numerous pandemic viruses originate in China?
In a Swarajya article Over 90 Percent Pandemic Viruses in last 100 Years originated from Africa or China, but zero from India, the author describes the explanations why China is that the origin place of numerous pandemic viruses:
When we check out the list of major pandemics, we discover that the amount of pandemics caused by bacteria declines within the 20th century. In fact, each pandemic on the list since the 1918 Spanish flue is caused by an epidemic .
Another important pattern visible within the list is that these viruses are zoonotic, that is, they spilled-over from non-human animals to humans. In fact, 60.3 percent of all the emerging communicable disease events are thanks to zoonotic viruses, and 71.8 percent of those started from wild animals.
Another notable thing is that the place of origin. Most of the zoonotic diseases originate in tropical as against temperate regions thanks to environmental and evolutionary factors.
But there are socio-economic and cultural factors that cause China and Africa to be a dominant source of pandemic viruses:
1. Bush meat hunting and butchering.
2. Crowded live animal markets with intimate mixing of multiple species in often unhygienic conditions.
3. Increasing demand of meat, especially exotic, with income-growth.
4. Cleanliness and hygiene.
5. Traditional Chinese medicine and illegal wildlife trade.
An interesting little bit of history connects the Chinese wet markets and bushmeat consumption to the good Chinese Famine were arranged by Mao. When one among the best killing of savage animals in history happened , described in another Swarajya Article, what links Chinese Wet Markets to Mao great leap forward? Communist pseudoscience that caused starvation, Killed Millions.
The author attributes low rates of origination of pandemic viruses in India to cultural emphasis on ahimsa (non violence) and disciplined meat consumption, if not complete elimination of meat from the diet; shauchachar (cleanliness and hygiene); and sadachar (control on the sensory pleasures).