Scientists Warn That Another Pandemic Could Be Emerging in China


Scientists are warning about a new strain of the H1N1 swine flu virus that has been spreading silently on pig farms in China and that they say should be “urgently” controlled to avoid another worldwide pandemic.

H1N1 spread around the world in 2009 and killed about 285,000 people before morphing into seasonal flu, The New York Times reported.

In a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists say the newer strain, G4 EA H1N1, has been common on China’s pig farms since 2016.

Although some people have become infected by the virus without getting  disease, scientists fear that could change.

“G4 viruses have all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus,” the study reads.

Watch: Matt Gaetz Hilariously Torches Democrat Senator Accused of Bribery on House Floor

“Controlling the prevailing G4 EA H1N1 viruses in pigs and close monitoring in human populations, especially the workers in swine industry, should be urgently implemented.”

For the study, researchers monitored pigs in 10 Chinese provinces from 2011 to 2018.

Researchers also collected 338 blood samples from pig farm workers and 230 samples from people nearby.

The scientists found that 10.4 percent of the workers and 4.4 percent of the people nearby tested positive for G4 EA H1N1, according to The Times.

Are you worried about a new virus emerging from China?

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday that the United States needs to be watching this new strain emerging in China.

Fauci was asked about the new strain of the virus and the study at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing, Fox News reported.

He said the new virus has characteristics of the 2009 H1N1 virus and “segments from other hosts like swine.”

“When they all mix up together and contain some of the elements that might make it susceptible to being transmitted to humans, you always have the possibility that you might have another swine flu-type outbreak as we had in 2009,” Fauci said.

“It’s something that’s still in the stage of examination, it’s not so-called an immediate threat where you’re seeing infections, but it’s something we need to keep our eye on just the way we did in 2009 with the emergence of the swine flu.”

Bruce Springsteen Forced to Cancel Remaining 2023 Shows While Dealing with Medical Issues

The H1N1 virus was first detected in the United States in the spring of 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From April 12, 2009, to April 10, 2010, there were estimated to be 60.8 million cases, 274,304 hospitalizations and 12,469 deaths in the United States from the virus.

Additionally, about 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide died from H1N1 infection during that same year.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , ,
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith