Some time ago, researchers in China found the type of virus that was feared could potentially become a pandemic after COVID-19. The virus that was given the code G4 EA H1N1 or G4 was included in the variant of the H1N1 swine flu virus.
But, some health experts say the G4 virus is not too much to worry about. Epidemiology professor and researcher from the University of California, United States, Christine Johnson, VMD, MPVM, PhD, said zoonotic disease can occur at any time.
“To determine whether a virus can become a pandemic is to be transmitted from human to human. This (G4 virus) will not cause a pandemic, while it can only be transmitted from pigs to humans,” he said. Healthline, Thursday (2/7/2020).
Zoonotic transmission varies, from pigs to humans, bats to humans, or from other wild animals. According to Johnson, it is difficult to predict whether the virus will mutate and when it can be transmitted between humans.
According to the virus expert and head of the biology department at Texas A&M University-Texarakan, Benjamin Neuman, PhD, pigs are considered a ‘mixing container’ of the virus. This is because the pig host cell can combine many viruses, and even produce new viruses.
“Pigs are susceptible to several viruses such as bird flu and humans to produce new viruses that have the potential to infect humans,” Neuman said.
Neuman said, that’s the importance of tracking pigs that might be infected with a virus that could trigger an outbreak in the future. Based on the results of supervision of the research team, they identified 179 swine flu viruses in swine animals.
“These flu viruses are pieces of bird flu, H1N1, and swine flu that seem to be growing well in human cells. That could potentially cause a pandemic, but until now we have not found evidence of this virus causing real problems,” Neuman explained.
The executive director of the WHO Health Emergency Program, Dr. Michael Ryan, told a press conference that the G4 virus is not a new virus, but is being monitored.
WHO said that the swine flu virus has been monitored since 2011, and even surveillance has been tightened in line with the findings of Chinese studies about the potential to become a pandemic. The WHO has even cooperated with Chinese authorities regarding the anticipation of the G4 swine flu virus.
“It has been under surveillance since 2011, and in fact the most recent publication is the publication of all surveillance data from time to time. And it clearly reports, both about the evolution of this virus in pig populations,” Ryan explained.
In addition, virologist from Udayana University, Bali, Prof. Ngurah Mahardhika, said that there is no need to be troubled by the presence of this pig virus. According to him, this virus does not have the shock power to trigger a pandemic.
Prof. Ngurah Mahardhika said that for a virus from animals to humans to become a pandemic, the virus must be completely new and emerge suddenly.
“If 10 percent of people tested already have antibodies (swine flu virus), species barrier jumping has been a long time. And transmission of human to human has long occurred. Once the knowledge I learned. This does not worry me,” he explained through posting on the account His Facebook.
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