June 30, 2020 / 10:05 AM / 4 days ago

WHO says 'we cannot let our guard down' after China pigs study

FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Orgnaization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) will “read carefully” a Chinese study on a new flu virus found in pigs, a spokesman said on Tuesday, saying the findings underscored the importance of influenza surveillance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new flu virus found in Chinese pigs has become more infectious to humans and needs to be watched closely in case it becomes a potential “pandemic virus”, the study said.

“We will read carefully the paper to understand what is new,” the WHO’s Christian Lindmeier told a Geneva briefing, saying it was important to collaborate on findings and keep tabs on animal populations.

“It also highlights we cannot let our guard down on influenza and need to be vigilant and continue surveillance even in the coronavirus pandemic,” he added.

Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Alison Williams

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