Farmscape for July 27, 2020
The Executive Director of the Swine health Information Center says the identification in China of a Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza virus that contains 2009 pandemic genes dose not change the level of risk to people.
Significant media attention has been paid to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that indicates a Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza virus that contains 2009 pandemic genes can facilitate human infection.
The study was based on a survey of market hogs coming into Chinese packing plants from 2011 to 2018 and included data on the types of influenza detected.
Dr. Paul Sundberg, the Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center, says the actual level of risk to people has not changed.
Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
One thing that we know about influenza viruses is that they recombine and reassort in multiple different spots.
This virus that they identified, and there's been a lot of press about a pandemic type of virus, is because it has characteristics of pig, avian and human influenza with it.
The one thing we know about that though is that there are multiple influenza strains out there that may have the same thing.
It doesn't indicate that there is any increase risk to people because of this.
They are simply reporting that they found it and there are potentials.
Even the researchers in China, at a meeting only a couple of weeks after the report was published, said publicly that they don't think this is an indication of any increase in risk.
There are multiple influenza viruses out there that could look like this.
It's always something to keep an eye on but it's not necessarily the next pandemic that's coming.
Dr. Sundberg adds U.S. government agencies are watching closely and the virus reported in China has not been identified in the United States.
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