06/19/2010, 00.00
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Scientist in Hong Kong : H1N1 has mutated and attacks Chinese pigs

The well-known virus that spread around the world in 2009, mutated in contact with North American and Eurasian bacteria genes. For now, according to the expert Malik Peris, it is harmless to humans.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The H1N1, which came in contact with other viruses, has genetically mutated and is spreading among pigs in China. Researchers at the University of Hong Kong confirmed as much in a report published yesterday by Science, the respected American magazine which had sounded the alarm that the H1N1 could mutate in pigs in unpredictable ways.

The new viruses, according to Professor Guan Yi, had never been identified before in 12 years of tests, and was already found four times between October and January during routine checks on the apparently healthy pigs. The virus, concludes the virologist, was transmitted from man to animals.

The new H1N1 mutations, which in 2009 spread globally from Mexico, were formed by the acquisition of gene segments of North American and Eurasian hybrid bacteria. The team of researchers has confirmed the alert: new virus concern and affect the entire global public health.

Currently, however, nothing indicates that they may attack humans. Since February, there has been no incidents of such cases.  . The expert Malik Peiris, who followed the University of Hong Kong project said that there is no danger in eating pork. He added, however, that the threat should not be underestimated and must be " influenza viruses in pigs must be kept under close surveillance so as to quickly locate any kind of unexpected change and quickly assess its significance."

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