G4 swine flu in China very low risk – BAI

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Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) officer-in-charge Director Ronnie Domingo said the G4, a new swine flu strain being monitored in China, has a very low risk.

Domingo explained that China’s ongoing response to the new swine flu named G4 was surveillance and not a control program.

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“‘Yung risk ay napakaliit. Tapos wala namang nakita na sakit na dinulot sa baboy, sa tao. May kaunti sila na isolation na ginawa sa mga may sakit pero hindi lamang naman po H1N1,” Domingo said.

(The risk is very low. Then no disease was found that could affect pigs or humans. They have little isolation is done on the sick but not just H1N1.)

According to the US science journal’s published study, G4 came from the H1N1 strain that caused a pandemic in 2009. It possesses all the essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans.

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BAI chief said that so far, he never encountered a report claiming that the G4 swine flu is deadly.

“Nakitaan po nila ito na kamukha noong mga naunang viruses na nakita sa mga pandemya noon. Kinuha po nila ‘yung samples nila sa around 38,000 na normal na baboy,” he said.

(They look very similar to the earlier viruses seen in pandemics. They took their samples of around 38,000 normal pigs.)

“Kaya sinabi nila may potential na mag-cause ng pandemya,” he added but noting that China has a half-billion pigs.

(That’s why they said it has the potential to cause a pandemic.)

China’s surveillance program took samples from 300 workers, and 10 of them were found to have antibodies, citing that China’s population is 1.39 billion.

Domingo noted that sampling was surveillance, given that viruses evolve. The program also monitors other viruses in China like H3N2 and H9N2, he added.

“Hindi po tayo dapat mangamba dahil ito ay warning pa lamang,” he said.

(We should not worry because this is just a warning.)

Domingo, meanwhile, said the country’s pork supply is still limited due to the depopulation of 299,000 pigs. Many hog raisers also prematurely harvest their products to avoid contamination.

“Nabawasan ‘yung supply natin lalo sa Region III, IV-A, at Metro Manila,” he said.

(Our supply decreased notably in Region III, IV-A, and Metro Manila.)

Also read: Duterte calls for ‘strengthening Philippines-China ties amid COVID-19

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