COVID-19 has inflicted a pandemic on the world that has infected over 10-million people and killed more than half a million in just over six months.
While the COVID-19 pandemic appears far from over, a study by a team of Chinese researchers shows a new flu virus found in local pigs has become more infectious to humans, and needs to be closely monitored, as it has the potential to go pandemic as well.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry claims it's doing all it can to prevent the new virus from spreading.
" China is closely following the developments in regard to this matter. We will take all necessary measures to prevent the spread and outbreak of any virus."
The new strain, called "G4 EA H1N1", descended from the swine flu that emerged in 2009, which caused the first global flu pandemic in 40 years.
According to scientists, the new strain has been identified as having "all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus".
Researchers who have studied flu viruses in pig populations between 2011 and 2018 say around 10-percent of swine industry workers who were tested in China had already been exposed to the virus.
The initial swine flu that emerged in Mexico in 2009 is seen now as one of a variety of seasonal flu viruses and is included in annual flu vaccines.
However, the current flu vaccine does not appear to protect humans from this new strain.
Scientists say that, while the world is distracted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it should not lose sight of this new and potentially dangerous virus, despite it not being deemed an immediate problem.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.