RIVM maintains development of Chinese pig virus close eye

The relatively new flu virus that Chinese scientists have discovered in pigs is well monitored by RIVM. But at present the institute sees no reason to take action in the Netherlands.

However, the institute follows scientific publications and reports from the World Health Organization (WHO). As giving rise to action, for example, the National Influenza Center of the RIVM and Erasmus MC are enabled for further investigation.

“But we are not preventative kinds of things to do,” said a spokeswoman. The RIVM indicates that the virus is not new: all infections were noted in 2016 and described.

The virus, which has been named G4 EA H1N1, like the swine flu, but has some other features. The virus that causes swine flu, is included in the annual flu shot. If necessary, it could also be with this virus, the researchers say. But Chinese researchers say the virus strain all the important characteristics of a candidate pandemic.

G4 is highly contagious and can pass from pigs to humans, but there is no evidence that people can infect each other. The study showed that 35 of the 338 pig farmers surveyed had contracted the virus. Existing flu vaccines do little against. Ferrets that were given, there were worse off than other flu viruses.

The Belgian virologist Steven Van Gucht agrees with his Chinese colleagues agree. “We know that flu viruses around every 20 years to cause a pandemic. The virus is for several reasons a serious candidate,” he told the Belgian newspaper De Morgen.

The first infections from the new virus, G4 EA H1N1 were already observed and described in 2016. The virus stomp on the H1N1 virus, or swine flu. G4 is very contagious and can pass from pigs to humans, but there is no evidence that people can infect each other.

Given the characteristics of the new virus, it can turn into a pandemic, but currently does RIVM not worry.

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