In response to their findings, the study authors suggest that close monitoring in human populations for the G4 virus should be implemented as a matter of urgency.
The study also noted that humans are not protected from the G4 virus by the immunity offered by other human influenza vaccine strains, indicating that there is no preexisting population immunity to the virus. The new virus, named G4 EA H1N1, can grow and multiply in the cells that line the human airways - they said. "It may be that with further change in the virus it could become more aggressive in people much as SARS-CoV-2 has done", Brown tells The New York Times in an email.More news: Adele FLIRTS On Instagram -- Is This Her New Romance?
The virus, known as "G4 EA H1N1", is genetically descended from the H1N1 swine flu that caused a pandemic in 2009.
While some of the viruses only showed up once and were considered non-threatening, the G4 virus appeared in pigs year after year, with its presence increasing sharply after 2016.
There have been cases of swine workers contracting G4 from pigs, but there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission yet.
The 2009 swine flu pandemic claimed the lives of up to 575,000 people around the globe - with 80 percent of fatalities occurring in people aged under 65.
For the study, the Chinese researchers took 30,000 nasal swabs from pigs in slaughterhouses in 10 Chinese provinces and in a veterinary hospital from 2011 to 2018.More news: Dr. Fauci: US could reach 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day
Another pig farmer from eastern China told of his concern that African Swine Flu may creep back into the country and inflate an already precarious situation.
While the world is still dealing with COVID-19, reports of a new strain of swine flu having been discovered in China is doing the rounds.
Right now we are distracted with coronavirus and rightly so. "It also highlights we can not let our guard down on influenza and need to be vigilant and continue surveillance even in the coronavirus pandemic".
A researcher at Nottingham University in the UK, Professor Kin-Chow Chang, told the BBC that at the moment, the world is "distracted with coronavirus and rightly so" but "we must not lose sight of potentially unsafe new viruses".
"What the paper does do is something important for the epidemiological community: it points to a virus that we need to be keeping a careful eye on", Bergstrom said.More news: Dr. Dre's Wife Reportedly Files for Divorce