Chinese pigs are frequently becoming infected with a strain of influenza that has the potential to jump to humans, according to infectious disease researchers.
Commenting on the development, Robert Webster, an influenza investigator who recently retired from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, US, said it is a “guessing game” as to whether this strain will mutate to readily transmit between humans.
“We just do not know a pandemic is going to occur until the damn thing occurs. China has the largest pig population in the world. Will this one do it? God knows,” an online Scientist magazine quoted Webster as saying.