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Chinese Scientists Warn That Pigs Could Be The Source Of Next Pandemic As Strain Of Swine Flu In China Has Potential To Spread To Humans

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Chinese scientists have warned that pigs are a ‘key intermediate host’ or ‘mixing vessel’ for viruses spreading from wild animals into humans and could cause another pandemic if not taken seriously.

Experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have been studying outbreaks of swine flu in pig farms across the country and say the latest strain can pass to humans even though only two people are confirmed to have caught the virus, dubbed G4 EA H1N1, since the first outbreak in 2016.

The researchers who say the disease is ‘highly adapted’ to infect humans are now calling for monitoring of farms and people working on or near them as further transmission could cause the virus to ‘adapt and become a pandemic’.

The two cases of a G4-like EA H1N1 virus were of a 46-year-old and a 9-year-old.

‘Epidemiological survey found that the two patients had neighbors who reared pigs, suggesting that G4 EA virus could transmit from swine to human, and lead to severe infection and even death.’

During tests of the virus in ferrets, they found symptoms such as fever, sneezing, wheezing, and coughing was all common.

George Gao, Jinhua Liu, and colleagues isolated 179 viruses from pigs across 10 provinces in China from 2011 to 2018 to study the risks they pose to humans and found that since 2016 the majority of viruses found in farmed pigs exhibited features you’d expect from the populace during a pandemic.

According to the scientists, out of 300 samples taken from pig farmers on 15 different pig farms, only 10.4 percent had antibodies against this strain of the virus.

This means the virus poses a particularly strong chance of pandemic spread according to scientists.

‘All of this evidence indicates that G4 EA H1N1 virus is a growing problem in pig farms, and the widespread circulation of G4 viruses in pigs inevitably increases their exposure to humans,’ study authors wrote in their paper.

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Barcelona Sign Sergino Dest For €21M

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Sergino Dest will be Barcelona’s new right-back – the 19-year-old joins from Ajax as Nelson Semedo’s replacement.
Barcelona have completed the signing of right-back Sergino Dest from Ajax for an initial €21million.

The 19-year-old United States international has signed a five-year contract with a €400m buyout clause, while the deal could eventually cost Barca €26m.

Barca faced stiff competition for the Ajax academy product, with Bayern Munich said to be also keen on his signature, but his signing for the Blaugrana appeared a formality after he was spotted arriving in Catalonia on Tuesday.

Dest broke into the Ajax senior side just last season, playing 35 times across all competitions as he established himself as an alternative to Noussair Mazraoui.

An attack-minded full-back, Dest was originally a winger when he first joined Ajax, but he has thrived following a positional switch.

Technically gifted, quick and a fine dribbler, Dest’s performances saw him catch the eye of several major clubs in his breakout season, but it is the well-travelled path from Ajax to Barca that he has decided to tread.

Barca had been on the lookout for a new right-back following the exit of Nelson Semedo, who failed to convince coaching staff and fans alike during his three years at Camp Nou.

Netherlands-born Dest has already been capped three times by the United States’ senior side, whom he is eligible for through his father.

Barca have not confirmed if Dest will be in contention to make his debut on Thursday at Celta Vigo, or if he will have to wait for the visit of Sevilla three days later.

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Chelsea Face Champions League Group Of Death Draw With Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, And Rennes Possible Opponents

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Chelsea could be handed a nightmare ‘group of death’ when the Champions League draw is made tomorrow.

Frank Lampard’s side are with Man Utd and Man City in Pot 2 while Premier League champions Liverpool fill out the English contingent in the top group.

And it is from Pot 1 where the Blues will be looking to avoid one team in particular.

Chelsea have good memories of beating Bayern Munich on their own turf to lift the European title in 2012.

But surely no one would fancy taking on the reigning champs in their current rampant form.

The 8-2 demolition job of Barcelona – over one leg, remember – in the summer is still fresh in everyone’s memory.

And though that came against a club in crisis, the threat Robert Lewandowski – surely robbed of the Ballon d’Or this year – and Thomas Muller perpetually pose makes them the ones to avoid.

Further down in Pot 3, Inter Milan’s team of stars under Antonio Conte – up against his old club – could prove difficult.

And below them again in the bottom pot lie current Ligue 1 leaders Rennes.

The French team’s ex-goalkeeper Edouard Mendy recently joined Lampard’s side so he should know how to handle them.

Saying that though, Rennes have started off unbeaten this season with four wins from five games and 12 goals scored already.

This season will test teams’ fitness levels and squad depth like never before.

So it’s a good job Lampard has been so busy this summer, signing seven players in all.

The Champions League does not start until October 20 as a result of the pandemic and delayed season starts across Europe.

But teams are set to have to play six fiercely competitive European ties during the most congested season in history – possibly complicating their Premier League ambitions as well.

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Food And Drug Administration To Ban The Production Of Alcoholic Drink In Sachets And Plastic Bottles

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Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, has told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday that, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) will totally ban the production of alcoholic drinks in sachets by 2023/2024 after the organization expressed worry over the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in sachets and small volume glass and Poly-Ethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles.

With the support of the Federal Ministry of Health, Adeyeye stated that the concern also relates to the fact that alcohol “is also a toxic and psychoactive substance with dependence producing properties, explaining that, uncontrolled access and availability of high concentration alcohol in sachet and small volume PET or glass bottles have been put forward as a factor contributing to substance and alcohol abuse in Nigeria with its negative impact on the society.

The director-general also said that, pending the time-lapse, the distillers association were told to reduce the level of alcohol drink in sachets, and that they have agreed to do that. Adeyeye said the distillers association had also been tasked to run a social responsibility campaign against underage drinking, adding that a jingle would soon be on air in this regard.

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