Greg Baker / AFP via Getty ImagesPeople wear masks as they walk to work in Beijing on June 28, 2020. (Greg Baker / AFP via Getty Images)
Scientists are warning about a new strain of the H1N1 swine flu virus that has been spreading silently on pig farms in China and that they say should be “urgently” controlled to avoid another worldwide pandemic.
In a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists say the newer strain, G4 EA H1N1, has been common on China’s pig farms since 2016.
Although some people have become infected by the virus without getting disease, scientists fear that could change.
“G4 viruses have all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus,” the study