A new virus similar to that of the H1N1 flu, responsible for the 2009 pandemic, was discovered in China, as part of a surveillance project launched for years to find particularly dangerous viruses in the bud.
The virus has returned to using the pig’s organism to modify itself, thus learning to attack humans.
Published in the journals of the United States Academy of Sciences, the discovery is from the Agricultural Universities of Beijing and Shandong, together with the Chinese Centers for Disease Control.
Research teams extended surveillance work to humans on farms, discovering the presence of antibodies in 10% of a sample of about 300 people. This means, they explain, that the virus can attack humans but has not yet taken the next step, it lacks the ability to transmit itself from man to man. Research does not describe symptoms or clinical manifestations.
For the infectious disease expert Giorgio Palù, this is an “expected and important job” that “describes a potentially pandemic virus”.
Even the epidemiologist Stefania Salmaso speaks of an “important surveillance job”. The virus, he specifies, at the moment “does not create concern, but refers to the threats to human health from the animal world, it is an alert that brings us back to the importance of having an update of the pandemic plans”.
Update already requested in 2018 by WHO. But to no avail, so much so that the whole world found itself unprepared for Sars-CoV2. “Now – says Salmaso – there are no more excuses to postpone the update of a shared pandemic plan”.
(Unioneonline / L)