Today In 2020: There Is A New Strain Of The Swine Flu In China That Scientists Say Has The Potential To Become A Pandemic

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CNBC- Scientists have identified a new strain of flu carried by pigs in China that they say has the potential to become a pandemic. The new strain is descended from the type of flu — known as “swine flu” — that emerged in 2009 causing the first global flu pandemic in 40 years. The scientists published their peer-reviewed findings in U.S. science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday.

As with swine flu, the new strain has been identified as having “all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus.” The scientists, who studied flu viruses in pig populations between 2011 and 2018, noted that around 10% of swine industry workers they tested in China had already been exposed to the virus, which they described as “of concern.” That rate increased among younger workers, aged 18-35, “indicating that the predominant G4 EA H1N1 virus has acquired increased human infectivity.”

“Such infectivity greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses,” the scientists, who work at several Chinese universities and the country’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, noted. 

At this point we have to tip our cap and call 2020 our daddy. Churning up a new potential pandemic that everyone is going to freak out about right as we flip to a new month of this shitty reality show to mark the halfway point of the year is fucking poetry while rebooting an already known disease that everybody knew about from the same country the current pandemic is from is straight out of Hollywood. 

I get that scientists have to use the P word when they see there is a chance of a mass spreading of a disease. But did we really have to have pigs be the source of the first potential pandemic after corona put the world in a giant torture rack? Bacon tastes good. Pork chops taste good. The only thing getting many of us through this pandemic is delicious food. Painting bats as villains was easy as fuck considering we've had lumped them in with vampires for years and would never think about chowing down on some bat soup. But seeing pigs turn heel on humanity during its biggest moment of desperation would be like watching the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man trample on New York City after years of being a beloved icon in the culinary game.

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To be clear, pigs should have turned on us years ago considering what we have done to them as a species. But it still hurts a whole lot. Here's to hoping whatever fear headline is unleashed on us in August doesn't feel like as much of a betrayal. Now lets send it to Bob Costas and Tony Dungy in the studio.

P.S. Don't think I didn't notice that the organization that discovered these findings is known as the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" AKA PENAS. I'm onto you, KB, KenJac, and all the other info trolls here at Barstool. I don't know how the hell you infiltrated all the mainstream news sites with this story instead of just the everyday idiots on Twitter. But I'm onto you nonetheless.