The unforeseen and unprecedented Novel Coronavirus pandemic has caused widespread panic and paranoia among common people. The population is now worried more than ever about their health and wary of incoming news about any potential disease outbreak. In such circumstances, the breaking news about the discovery of a new flu strain with “pandemic potential” has put everyone on alert. A new strain of swine flu has been found by researchers in China, which is believed to have the potential to transmit from pigs to humans. While it is wise to be on the alert, there is no reason for you to worry yourself sick about the potential damage this strain of flu could cause just yet.
Early detection of this flu strain enables virologists to spring into action, trying to devise an appropriate testing mechanism for the transmission of the virus. While the new strain of the virus is believed to be dangerous, there is good news to be had. Antibody tests run upon swine workers in China have found that their bodies have encountered it in the past and survived. Also, no human-to-human transmission has been reported as of yet.
The Virus Has Been Circulating in Pigs Since 2013
The G4 virus, as it has been termed, began to emerge in pigs from the year 2013. It started to spread rapidly in the following years. In fact, in 2016, it was the dominant form of the influenza virus circulating in tested pigs by 2016. What this essentially means is that although pig-to-pig transmission of the virus occurred at an alarming rate, it didn't cause any serious ailments in the pigs. If it had, we would have gotten news of the virus much earlier.
Antibody Evidence Found in Swine Workers
At least 10% of the swine workers tested for the virus showed antibody presence against the same within their body. In other words, they must have come in contact with the virus at some point during their work, and their immune system developed the necessary proteins to thwart serious infections. Either these individuals didn't show any symptoms or only registered minor symptoms associated with the common flu, which is why they didn't think too much of it.
Additional Reasons that Indicate Why You Shouldn’t Stress Yourself About this “New” Viral Strain
Cases of pig-to-human viral transmissions were only found in a small percentage of swine workers. So, there is no reason for you to concern yourself about falling sick from the virus unless you come in regular close contact with pigs. Until now, only China has reported any cases of pigs infected with the G4 virus. Other countries, especially the US, is constantly engaged with reviewing data and has no evidence of the viral outbreak among its livestock.
Being concerned is Natural, Just don’t let it Detriment Your Health
It is absolutely normal to find yourself feeling worried about your and your family's health and well being in trying times like the ones we're currently going through. In fact, worry, to an extent, is a healthy flight/ fight response to have right now, as it can help you detect unnatural health symptoms as you register them. Contact and schedule a telemedicine session with Phoenix Family Health Clinic if you feel unwell and suspect an illness on the way. Try not to worry an excessive amount though, as it could predispose you towards developing stress, which aggravates any illness all the more.