“We urge you to report flu-like symptoms that have been increasing this rainy season that could affect both agriculture workers and our swine population,” Department of Agriculture spokesman Noel Reyes told a virtual press briefing yesterday.
AFP/Nikolay Doychinov/File
DA on new swine flu strain: Report pig deaths
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - July 1, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Hog raisers should report any unusual pig death after a new strain of swine flu with pandemic potential was discovered in China.

“We urge you to report flu-like symptoms that have been increasing this rainy season that could affect both agriculture workers and our swine population,” Department of Agriculture spokesman Noel Reyes told a virtual press briefing yesterday.

Reyes assured the public that there is still no case in the Philippines, adding that pork and related products from China are still banned.

Researchers in China have discovered a new type of swine flu, which they named G4.

The US science journal PNAS released the study on the new swine flu, saying it possesses “all the essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans.”

G4 was observed to be highly infectious, replicating in human cells and causing more serious symptoms in ferrets than other viruses.

Tests also showed that any immunity that humans gain from exposure to seasonal flu does not provide protection from G4.

According to blood tests, which showed antibodies created by exposure to the virus, 10.4 percent of swine workers had been infected. The tests showed that as many as 4.4 percent of the general population appeared to have been exposed.

This means the virus passed from animals to humans but there is no evidence yet that it can be passed from human to human.

“It is of concern that human infection of G4 virus will further human adaptation and increase the risk of a human pandemic,” the researchers said.

The African swine fever, which the Philippines has yet to contain, cannot be transferred to humans.

SWINE FLU
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