Influenza H1N1 – China

A new variant of the G4 strain of H1N1 flu was discovered in China. This new and recently emerged strain among pigs is called G4 EA H1N1.

It should be noted that this subtype has been monitored since 2011. The media hype surrounding this is exaggerated.

Evidence of this ‘new’ strain subtype infecting people working in abattoirs and other swine facilities in China has been found during surveillance since 2016. 

As with many other flu strains, there are concerns that the strain could mutate further and become more infectious and potentially triggering a global outbreak.

Still, it must be monitored closely to limit its spread among pigs.

Photo: H1N1 virus micrograph.

Influenza H1N1 virus is a subtype of Influenza A virus. Well known outbreaks of H1N1 strains in humans include the 2009 swine flu pandemic, as well as the 1918 flu pandemic.

Some strains of H1N1 are endemic in humans and cause a small fraction of all influenza-like illness and a small fraction of all seasonal influenza, for instance in 2004–2005. Other strains of H1N1 are endemic in pigs (swine influenza) and in birds (avian influenza).

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