WHO: Newly released swine flu is not new and has been under surveillance since 2011
A World Health Organization (WHO) expert said on Wednesday that China’s newly released swine flu is not new and that it is under strict surveillance.
“It is important, I think, to reassure people that this is not a new virus. This is a virus that is under surveillance, ”said Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, at a press conference this Wednesday, adding that“ this is a discovery from the surveillance that has been carried out over many years ”.
The H1N1 swine flu virus, similar to the Eurasian avian flu virus, “is under surveillance by Chinese authorities and the global flu surveillance network around the world, and by WHO collaboration centers,” said Ryan.
“He has been under surveillance since 2011 and, in fact, the recent release is a publication of all that surveillance data over time. Obviously, reporting the evolution of this virus within the swine population, but also in terms of workers’ exposure over that time ”, he explained.
A team of Chinese researchers examined the flu viruses found in pigs from 2011 to 2018 and found the variant 4 genotype of the H1N1 avian virus similar to the Eurasian avian (G4 EA H1N1), according to a study recently published by the American journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
“We need to be on the alert. We need to continue to closely monitor this G4 genotype and we hope it will continue for the next few months and years ”, emphasized Ryan.
“It is a very important piece of work… done in collaboration with the WHO Collaboration Center at the China Disease Control and Prevention Center, with other collaborating centers around the world, including the WHO Collaboration Center for Influenza in center for disease control and prevention in Atlanta, USA, and again shows the vital importance of the global flu surveillance and response system, ”he added.
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