Beware of the G4 Virus, a New Type of Swine Flu Virus that Has the Potential to Become a Pandemic

In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, a new type of swine flu virus emerged in mainland China. The swine flu virus is said to be transmissible from pigs to humans and is thought to have the potential to cause a pandemic.

The world has not finished dealing with the Corona virus infection which is still spreading in many countries, now the public is again shocked by the news of the emergence of a new virus that is suspected to have the potential to become a pandemic.

The virus, which is named G4 EA H1N1 or abbreviated as G4 virus, is a derivative of the swine flu virus that caused a pandemic in 2009–2010. This virus was discovered through a series of studies conducted by scientists in pig farming areas spread across 10 provinces in China.

This new virus is known to easily infect humans and has the potential to cause a pandemic in the future. Although it is still conjecture and there is no definite data regarding the G4 virus, we still need to be vigilant and anticipate the possible spread of this new type of swine flu virus.

G4 Virus, Derived from Swine Flu Virus

It was mentioned earlier that the G4 virus is a derivative of the swine flu virus which is known to be highly contagious. Transmission of the swine flu virus occurs through splashes of phlegm or saliva of swine flu sufferers who are coughing or sneezing.

The swine flu virus, which is carried by splashes of phlegm or saliva, can enter the body through the nose, mouth, or eyes. In addition, a person can also contract this virus when touching objects that have been contaminated with phlegm or saliva from a swine flu patient.

Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of the common cold and usually appear about 1-3 days after a person is infected with the virus that causes it. Symptoms of swine flu include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Watery and red eyes
  • Body feels sore
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting

G4 Virus Pandemic Potential

Through research that lasted for 8 years (2011–2018), the researchers managed to collect more than 30,000 samples swab nose in pigs in China. From these studies, found there are 179 types of swine flu virus.

Since 2016, these researchers found that the swine flu virus began to mutate a lot into a new virus which is now called the G4 virus. This virus is known to infect humans and multiply rapidly in the human respiratory tract.

This was proven after researchers conducted antibody tests on workers in a pig farming area in China. As a result, about 10.4% of workers tested positive for the new type of swine flu virus. Antibody tests also show that the immune system formed from the common cold is unable to fight off the G4 virus.

Although it can be transmitted from pigs to humans, until now there is no evidence that the G4 virus can be transmitted between humans.

However, the potential for the development of an outbreak of the G4 virus is still being monitored and evaluated by researchers. This is done as an initial step to prevent a pandemic such as COVID-19.

Tips for Protecting Yourself from the Threat of the New Flu Virus

Although information about the G4 virus is still very minimal, there is nothing wrong if preventive measures are taken early on. The spread of the swine flu virus can be prevented by taking the following steps:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash hands with soap and running water or hand sanitizer containing at least 70% alcohol
  • Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands
  • Maintain distance or limit contact with sick people
  • Avoid crowds or crowds of people, especially in areas where the swine flu virus is spreading
  • Cook the pork until it is completely cooked before consuming it

Until now, research on the G4 swine flu virus is still being carried out. Although there are no reports that this new type of swine flu virus can be transmitted between humans, it's a good idea to apply some of the above precautions to protect yourself from infection with the swine flu virus or other flu viruses.

If you experience the symptoms of swine flu as mentioned above, especially if your job involves close contact with pigs, consult a doctor immediately. Consultation can be done online on line past chat with a doctor in the ALODOKTER app. You can also make an appointment with a doctor at the hospital through this application.