●G4 Flu Virus found in China
•Recently, scientists have identified a “newly emerged” strain of influenza virus that is infecting Chinese pigs and that has the potential of triggering a pandemic
[Ek pandemic bahut hai for our generation:)
•Named G4, scientists believe that it has descended from the H1N1 strain that was responsible for the 2009 swine flu pandemic [It was identified through surveillance of influenza viruses in pigs through a study carried out from 2011 to 2018 in ten provinces of China.]
•Pigs are intermediate hosts for the generation of pandemic influenza virus.
]Intermediate host is an organism that harbours a parasitic which is being provided with nourishment and shelter by the organism.]
•The systemic surveillance of influenza viruses in pigs is a key measure for pre-warning the emergence of the next pandemic influenza.
•There is an urgent need to control the prevailing G4 virus in pigs.
2009 Swine Flu Pandemic:
•The 2009 pandemic was caused by a strain of the swine flu called the H1N1 virus, which was transmitted from human to human.
•Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses i.e. H1N1.
• It is called swine flu because it was known in the past to occur in people who had been in the vicinity of pigs.
•While humans typically do not get infected by such a virus that circulates among pigs, when they do, it is called “variant influenza virus”.
•The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak of type A H1N1 influenza virus a pandemic in 2009 when there were around 30,000 cases globally.
•The virus is transmitted by short-distance airborne transmission, particularly in crowded enclosed spaces. Hand contamination and direct contact are other possible sources of transmission.
•Symptoms of swine flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue.
•The treatment includes antiviral therapy with medicines like Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab).