The Thai Health Ministry has issued a statement informing the Thai public that pork and poultry are safe to eat, and people should not panic or reduce their consumption following reports of a new type of swine flu discovery in China.
The assurances come after a report on Monday by Chinese researchers show the discovery of a new virus that is genetically descended from the H1N1 swine flu, which caused a global pandemic in 2009.
The new strain of the virus, called the G4 virus by researchers, was discovered during a pig surveillance program at Shandong Agricultural University and the Chinese National Influenza Center, among other institutions.
According to the study, published in the scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the new strain of swine flu has already jumped from animals to humans in some regions of China.
In Hebei and Shandong provinces, more than 10 percent of workers on pig farms and around 4.4 percent of the general population tested positive in a survey conducted between 2016 and 2018.
However, there is no evidence suggesting that the virus can transmit from human to human.
The Director of the Bureau of Communicable Disease in Thailand, Dr. Sophon Iamsirithaworn, said while there is no information about the specific symptoms of the disease, people should not worry.
He continued by saying that Thailand is already taking preventative measures due to the coronavirus pandemic, such as wearing face masks. As a result, the number of people catching a cold is declining.
Dr. Iamsirithaworn also said that other diseases might occur when there is one epidemic but would not be as severe.
The Livestock Development Department Director-General, Sorawit Thanito, echoed the reassurances, saying that the new swine flu had not raised concerns because it had not been detected in Thailand.
He continued by saying that Thai meat production is up to international standards, and pig farms in Thailand have efficient disease control systems.