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China downplays threat of new swine flu strain

There was confusion over how much threat a strain of swine flu discovered in China posed.

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China downplays threat of new swine flu strain

A report compiled by Chinese agricultural and medical scientists said the G4 virus, which is descended from the 2009 H1N1 swine flu strain, ‘showed all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus.’

 

The virus evolved in pigs during the 2010s, with 10 per cent of pig farm workers and 4.4 per cent of the general population in Heibei and Shandong provinces in China testing positive for it in a survey. However, there is no evidence that the flu spreads between people.

 

The Chinese Government played down the threat of the virus. It said it is not new and has been monitored by it and the World Health Organisation since 2011. It added that the sampling used in the initial report was small and media coverage had been exaggerated and nonfactual.

 

With Covid-19 originating in China and the country hit hard by African swine fever, the light is being shone on how its meat sector operates.


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