China, the first affected by the COVID-19, is wanted reassuring on Wednesday after the discovery in the country of a strain of swine influenza virus exhibiting characteristics of a potential pandemic.
The new coronavirus, first reported at the end of last year in the chinese metropolis of Wuhan, and has since infected more than 10 million people around the world.
According to most scientists, the virus has probably been transmitted to humans from an animal. A city market has been made a criminal offence, because he would have sold the animals live wild.
According to a study published Monday in the us scientific journal PNAS, researchers have discovered in China a strain of swine influenza virus who “possess all the essential features showing a high adaptability to infect humans”.
The virus is called G4 and descend genetically from the H1N1 strain that is the origin of a previous pandemic in 2009.
When asked about this, a spokesperson of china’s public diplomacy, Zhao Lijian, downplayed Wednesday the danger, assuring that his country would continue “to monitor the disease, provide a warning (in case of need) and to treat it in a timely manner”.
The authors of this study are scientists from chinese universities and the Centre for the prevention and fight against disease chinese.
They have realized, between 2011 and 2018, 30 000 nasal samples from pigs in abattoirs in 10 chinese provinces and in a veterinary hospital.
This operation allowed to isolate 179 swine influenza virus.
According to the study, people in contact with pigs were relatively likely to have been infected (10.4 per cent).
“The experts have concluded that the size of the sample cited in the report is small and not representative”, has held Mr. Zhao.
According to scientists, the virus G4 would be already spent with the Man, but there is no evidence that they can transmit from human to human.
In 2018, an outbreak of african swine fever decimated the herd chinese.
The disease had led to a sharp rise in the price of pork, which is by far the most consumed meat in the country.