Infections and death toll will be “very disturbing” if current trends persist, Fauci says
Kevin Dietsch / AFP / Piscine / Getty Images
Kevin Dietsch / AFP / Piscine / Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the newly identified swine flu, called G4, is “something we need to watch for”.

Addressing the Senate HELP committee hearing, Fauci said that “the Chinese, in the past week or two, have identified a virus – in the environment – it has not yet shown that it infects humans, but it has what we call a reassortment capacity. ”

Fauci explained that when several different strains of a virus simultaneously infect the same host, such as a pig, they can exchange genetic information.

“When they all mix together, and they contain some of the elements that could make them susceptible to being transmitted to humans, you always have the possibility that you could have another outbreak of the swine flu type as we have had in 2009, “said Fauci.

Fauci said the G4 is still at the review stage – “This is not what is called, an immediate threat.”

“But it’s something we need to keep an eye on how we did it in 2009 with the emergence of swine flu,” he said.

The G4 virus, which is genetically descended from the H1N1 swine flu that caused the 2009 pandemic, was described in a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Earlier today: The World Health Organization confirmed in an email to CNN on Tuesday that agency officials are carefully reading the new data that has emerged on the swine flu virus.

“It is known that the Eurasian avian influenza virus is circulating in the pig population in Asia and that it can infect humans sporadically. Twice a year during the influenza vaccine composition meetings, every virus information is being reviewed and the need for new candidate vaccine viruses are being discussed. We will read the document carefully to understand what is new, “said WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier in the e -mail.

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