Could new strain of swine flu become a pandemic? Scientists say maybe, but not to worry

Could new strain of swine flu become a pandemic? Scientists say maybe, but not to worry
FILE PHOTO: Pigs are seen at a farm on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday April 25, 2009. A new strain of swine flu could become a pandemic scientists warned, but they also said not to worry. (Marco Ugarte/AP)

A new strain of swine flu can infect humans and scientists warn it could become a future pandemic, but it does not have an immediate global health threat, CNN reported.

The illness is called the G4 EA H1N1 virus and is a genetic offshoot from the H1N1 swine flu that became a 2009 pandemic, CNBC reported.

It has a G4 genotype that has been predominant in pig populations since 2016.

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The scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said it has “all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus,” CNN reported.

But doctors have said not to worry, that while the virus meets the basic criteria, it’s not proven that it could “be a dominate strain in humans.”

The H1N1 pandemic was less deadly than it was originally predicted, the BBC reported.

But how does G4 attack the human body? Scientists said it grows and multiplies in the cells that line human airways, according to the BBC. The current flu vaccines do not offer protection for the illness but could be changed if needed.