FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 file photo, Shi Zhengli works with other researchers in a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province. (AP)
As if one pandemic wasn’t enough, Chinese scientists are now raising alarms about a newly discovered flu virus that has the potential to trigger a global outbreak.
The virus is currently carried by pigs, but in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers argued that it has “all the hallmarks” of being able to adapt and infect humans. Scientists recommend that measures should be taken to control the virus in its current form, and that anyone who works with pigs should be closely monitored for the disease.
The fact that humans would have little or no immunity to this new virus means that it could mutate into a major threat.
The virus may not be an immediate problem, but it does come as a reminder that, even with coronavirus still wreaking havoc around the globe, there are always new pathogens that can emerge.
“Right now we are distracted with coronavirus and rightly so. But we must not lose sight of potentially dangerous new viruses,” Prof Kin-Chow Chang of Nottingham University told the BBC. “We should not ignore it.”