July 6, 2020
China: G4 swine flu virus not new, not easily transmitted to humans and animals
China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said the G4 swine flu virus made viral in the media recently is not a new virus and does not transmit or sicken humans and animals easily, Reuters reported.
This is a rebuff of a report published in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) last week by a team of researchers in China that warned about the G4 swine flu virus' potential as a pandemic.
The agriculture ministry in China said the study was interpreted exaggeratedly by the media and was not factual.
The ministry conducted an analysis and said the sampling size of the study was too small, plus there is insufficient evidence in the article that shows the G4 swine flu is a dominant strain among swine.
China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs recently held a seminar on the impact of the G4 swine flu towards the swine industry, attended by veterinarians, anti-virus experts, and the authors of the PNAS published study.
According to a statement by the ministry, the G4 swine flu virus is not new and has been continuously monitored by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and related China agencies since 2011.
The statement also said the study's authors agreed that the G4 swine flu virus does not replicate effectively in the human body to cause disease.
Yang Hanchun, a swine viral disease scientist at the China Agricultural University authored the statement. He serves an expert role on the ministry's anti-epidemic committee.