New type of swine flu from China is causing fears among Filipino farmers, public
There’s a new type of swine flu from China and it is causing fears in the Philippines, mostly among farmers.
“News regarding the new type of swine flu has been circulating online causing worries to both farm workers and the general public,” the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) said.
As published in several online journals, researchers in China have discovered a new type of swine flu that is capable of triggering a pandemic.
According to the study, the virus named G4 descended from the H1N1 strain that caused a pandemic in 2009.
The study that was conducted in China from 2011 to 2018 revealed that 10.4 percent of swine workers had already been exposed and as many as 4.4 percent of the general population also appeared to have antibodies. This shows that the virus can be passed from animals to humans, but human to human transmission has not been established yet.
BFAR has not really made any assurance that the Philippine government will exert all efforts that G4 won’t reach the country’s borders and only reminded “the general public to report any unusual pig mortalities to your farm veterinarians or to the nearest Government Veterinary/Agricultural Office and to consult a physician when experiencing flu-like symptoms”.
It also pointed out to the public that the Philippines does not import swine or pork products from China.
Last year, however, tons of processed pork products from China were seized by Filipino authorities.
The DA, at that time, could not tell whether the people responsible for this illegal shipment had already been penalized.
Right now, the country is still in the middle of its fight against the deadly swine disease African Swine Fever (ASF).
ASF does not pose risk to human health, but is highly fatal among pigs.