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SWINE FLU

Kenya concerned with reports of new strain of swine flu in China

It emerged recently and is carried by pigs, but can infect humans.

In Summary

• BBC news on Tuesday reported that a new strain of flu that has the potential to become pandemic has been identified in China by scientists.

• It emerged recently and is carried by pigs, but can infect humans.

Four-month-old piglets in their unit.
Four-month-old piglets in their unit.
Image: MARTIN OMBIMA

Kenya has said it is concerned with reports of a new strain of swine flu in China with the potential of becoming a pandemic.

Through the Ministry of Health, Kenya said anytime there is a pathogen perceived to be a pandemic it is always a concern.

“We know what swine flu has done in the past. The reports of the new stride in China however need to be verified and backed with evidence. This is a matter of great concern,” Health CAS Dr Rashid Aman said on Tuesday.

 

He added, “The current Covid-19 is not going to be the last pandemic. We will see other pandemics in future we don’t know of what nature but Covid is teaching the world that a robust health system is what matters”.

BBC news on Tuesday reported that a new strain of flu that has the potential to become a pandemic has been identified in China by scientists.

It emerged recently and is carried by pigs, but can infect humans.

According to BBC, the researchers are concerned that it could mutate further and spread easily from person to person, and trigger a global outbreak.

They say it has "all the hallmarks" of being highly adapted to infect humans - and needs close monitoring.

As it's new, people could have little or no immunity to the virus.

The last pandemic flu the world encountered - the swine flu outbreak of 2009 that began in Mexico - was less deadly than initially feared, largely because many older people had some immunity to it, probably because of its similarity to other flu viruses that had circulated years before.

Aman said the country will embark on a review of the lessons on previous flus and establish systems that are resilient to any pandemic in future.

“All we can do is develop a robust health system than can cope with any eventualities,” he said.