Malaysia Dateline

Is G4 Swine Virus another pandemic from China?

PHAR KIM BENG

1. Pandemic is now heavy on the mind of many, as it should be. But another one could potentially be coming from China again. That being said, China seems to understand the lesson of not sharing it’s discovery early in SARS Cov II, leading to global recriminations that it has censored or suppressed the truths right until late January 2020; though China did share the genome in the first week of Jan 2020 short of telling the world that a human-to-human transmission was indeed happening in China since early December 2019.

2. At any rate, whether it is due to the fear of further diplomatic maelstrom, on June 29 2020, research scientists have published in PNAS, a journal of the National Academy of Sciences in United States, that between 2011-2018, they have found a strain of G4 virus in swines.

3. G4 can infect any human beings that come into close contact with it too. In fact, G4 can trigger some similar symptoms in ferret cats, showing their capacity at producing animal-to-animal transmission.

4. This has been confirmed by the Chinese scientists too of the virus’s pathogenecity. The research, which has alarmed the authorities in China, invariably affirmed the findings carried out between 2011-2018; where up to 10 per cent of the workers who work in sizable pig farms were infected with G4 virus. (Source). There was no mention of any mortality rate though, or, the combo of antiviral treatments that can stop the spread of G4 in animals or humans.

5. Indeed, 30,000 nasal swabs were taken from the pigs in slaughter houses in China, of which 179 viruses were found. Of these viruses, most were newly discovered since 2016, with the virus of G4 proven to be one, that is most adept at latching on to the receptors of the human immunity (Source).

6. G4 seems to have a locking mechanism that is very similar to H1N1, which exploded in the world scene in 2009. The latter as an Avian influenza, killing more than 230,000 people according to the latest estimate of the World Health Organization (WHO).

7. In the case of G4 virus, it is considered dangerous, because just as H1N1 can cause human-to-human transmission, the virus of G4 has that potential too, if G4 is a descemdant of H1N1.

8. G4 can latch on to a receptor in the human immuno system known as SAa2, 6Gal; whereas in the case of SARS Cov II, its spiked proteins specializes in sticking to any ACE II receptor it can find.

9. As things are, the G4 virus would begin to multiply themselves in the human hosts, once they have attached themselves to SAa3, 6Gal.

10. Be that as it may, the vector of transmission remains from pigs to people, or children, who reside near such abbatoirs. But The Guardian in the United Kingdom has also pointed out that :

11. “Tests also showed that any immunity humans gain from exposure to seasonal flu does not provide protection from G4.” (Source).

12. The tests also showed that as many as 4.4% of the general population also appeared to have been exposed. The virus has therefore already passed from animals to humans. Although as this is written on June 30 2020, there is no evidence as yet that it can be passed from human to human – the scientists’ main worry.

13. Still, it would be a mistake if Chinese authorities are not on full alert in at least ten provinces that have the largest population of pig rearing farms (Source). That being said, one should keep in mind that G4, is not similar to Africa Swine Flu though.

14. The latter merely decimated the pigs in China, causing a shortage of pork, making it one of the biggest political headaches of President Xi Jin Ping from mid 2018 onwards, since the price of pork has shot up by more than 36.8 per cent from year on end (Source)