White House Coronavirus consultant Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday that US health officials are closely watching the new influenza carried by Chinese pigs, which has the characteristics of the 2009 H1N1 virus and the 1918 pandemic influenza.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Senate Health and Education Department that the virus is called “G4 EA H1N1” by scientists and has not been shown to be able to infect humans but has “rearrangement capability.”
He told Members: “In other words, when you discover a completely new virus and become a pandemic virus, it may be due to mutations and/or rearrangement or exchange of genes.” “Now they are in pigs The pigs seen in 2009 have the characteristics of the H1N1 virus in 2009 and the original 1918 characteristics. Many of our influenza viruses have this virus and fragments from other hosts, such as pigs.”
H1N1 swine flu and the 1918 pandemic flu are considered terrorist viruses spread all over the world.
The H1N1 swine flu broke out in Mexico in April 2009, infecting 60.8 million people in the United States alone and at least 700 million worldwide. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide have died from the virus. Now, it is regarded as one of various seasonal influenza viruses.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Fauci often compares it with Covid-19, which was the flu of 1918, which caused 30 to 50 million deaths. In comparison, more than 20 million people died in the First World War.
Scientists say that this new strain spread in Chinese pig farms has “all the basic characteristics of candidate pandemic viruses.”
Fauci said on Tuesday that “as in 2009, you have the possibility of another swine flu outbreak”.
He said: “This is still under review.” This is not “an immediate threat when you see an infection, but this is something we need to pay close attention to, like we did when the swine flu outbreak occurred in 2009.” “
As Fauci commented, the coronavirus continued to spread rapidly in the United States. According to an analysis by Arizona’s CNBC, in at least 40 states (including Arizona, Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma), new The 7-day average of cases increased by an average of 5% or more. Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Public health officials and doctors criticized the Trump administration for lacking a coordinated response to the virus. In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has downplayed the virus, saying that the United States is nearing the end of a pandemic, which is the opposite of his current government experts.
Fauci said earlier this month that as the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly around the world, Covid-19 has become his “most nightmare”.
He said the virus is “very different” from other outbreaks such as Ebola and HIV. He said that the virus jumped from the animal’s host, with high spread and mortality. He said that this is one of the worst epidemics in history in the world, and people compare it to the 1918 flu.
About six months ago, this new coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan, China. It has infected 10.4 million people worldwide and caused 500,000 deaths.
Fauci told lawmakers on Tuesday that he was concerned about the increase in new cases in places like Texas and Florida.
He said that the reopening of schools in the fall will depend on the momentum of the outbreak and the special location of the schools concerned.