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Chinese scientists are now pleading for authorities to “urgently implement” measures to prevent the virus from spreading. The virus has been analysed and is known to have made the adaptation to allow it to infect humans. China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention published a report on Monday that said the virus had “all the essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans”.
There has been no sign yet that it has developed the deadly attribute to spread from human to human.
Chinese firebrand foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a daily news conference on Tuesday that Beijing had everything under control.
He advised the populace to not worry and that the spread of the contagion will be contained.
He said: “We will take all necessary measures to prevent the spread and outbreak of any virus.”
The deadly pathogen has been given the name G4 EA H1N1 and it is genetically descended from the H1N1 strain that caused a swine flu pandemic in 2009.
Mutations within this deadly new strain allow it to bind successfully to the cells of the human respiratory system.
This influenza virus that has circulated among the cramped conditions of Chinese factory-scale pig farms has the potential to become a global pandemic.
Researchers from China have concluded that the virus has already infected an estimated 10.4 percent of pig farmworkers in the country.
A paper released by US science journal PNAS said that these farmworkers had fortunately tested positive for antibodies to fight against the virus.
However, Chinese researchers warned in the paper: “Controlling the prevailing G4 EA H1N1 viruses in pigs and close monitoring in human populations, especially workers in the swine industry, should be urgently implemented.”
Veterinary officials say the chances of the virus going on to mutate into a human to human contagion are small.
But, the Chinese government is taking swift measures to try and reduce the spread of the new influenza virus.
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A pig farmer from North China’s Hebei Province who owns 10,000 hogs spoke to the Chinese state tabloid the Global Times of the new regulations being enforced by the central government.
He said: “All employees need to be sterilized before entering the farm and the feed sampling is closely monitored.
“There has been no large-scale swine flu outbreak in the history of China so I am not too worried about it.”
Another pig farmer from eastern China told of his concern that African Swine Flu may creep back into the country and inflate an already precarious situation.
He said: “Half of the sickened pigs in our farm died last year.
“Now we disinfect the piggery every day.
“All workers must wear isolation suits, which are also disinfected daily.”
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