The Evening Standard

New flu virus emerges in China with ‘pandemic potential’

June 30, 2020

A new strain of flu has been identified by scientists in China which they say has the potential to become a pandemic. Researchers say it’s carried by pigs, but can infect humans. And as it's a new strain, humans are likely to have little or no immunity - meaning the virus needs close monitoring.

Speaking to the BBC, Prof Kin-Chow Chang, of Nottingham University in the UK, said that “right now we are distracted with coronavirus and rightly so. But we must not lose sight of potentially dangerous new viruses." The last time a new strain of influenza became a pandemic was swine flu, in 2009. But the outbreak ended up being less serious than feared, as people across the world appeared to have built up a degree of immunity from previous flu outbreaks.