Now Scientists Are Warning About a Scary New Flu Virus

Virus can be transmitted from pigs to humans, but scientists worry it will mutate further
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2020 4:00 AM CDT
Updated Jun 30, 2020 6:50 AM CDT
Oh, Great: A Flu Virus With 'Pandemic Potential' Discovered
This 2005 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows recreated 1918 influenza virions that were collected from a 1918 cell culture.   (Cynthia Goldsmith/CDC via AP)

The year 2020 really is the gift that keeps on giving: Now researchers are warning that an influenza virus with the potential to become a pandemic has been discovered in China. Called G4 EA H1N1, the flu virus is carried by pigs but has already been transmitted to a small number of humans, the Guardian reports, though there's currently no evidence of human-to-human transmission. The concern is that it has, the scientists say, "all the essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans"—and then possibly mutate to pass easily from human to human. It's also novel, meaning people have little or no immunity to it. It does have some similarities to the last flu pandemic, 2009's swine flu, the BBC reports. Researchers are calling for measures to control the virus in pigs, as well as close monitoring of those who work with pigs. (More influenza stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.