No evidence found over mutation in monkeypox virus, says WHO's senior official

Edited By: Gandharv Walia
London   Updated: May 26, 2022, 08:32 PM(IST)

(Representative image). Photograph:( AFP )

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The genome sequencing of the cases will give more understanding about the current outbreak. The disease, which is infectious, has been endemic in west and central Africa. The experts have been looking for concerning mutations, which can make a virus more transmissible or severe

There is no evidence to prove monkeypox virus has mutated, said a senior official of the World Health Organization on Monday, as per media reports.  

In a briefing, Rosamund Lewis, head of smallpox secretariat, which is part of the WHO Emergencies Programme, said that mutations are typically lower with this virus.  

The genome sequencing of the cases will give more understanding about the current outbreak.  

Also Read: Identification of monkeypox with no direct travel links highly unusual: WHO

The disease, which is infectious, has been endemic in west and central Africa.  

The experts have been looking for concerning mutations, which can make a virus more transmissible or severe.  

In a recent outbreak in Europe and North America, more than 100 suspected and confirmed cases have not been severe, said Maria van Kerkhove, lead for the emerging diseases and zoonoses, and technical lead on Covid for the WHO.  

Watch: Monkeypox spread: What we know so far

"This is a containable situation, particularly in Europe. But we can't take our eye off the ball with what's happening in Africa, in countries where it's endemic," Maria told Reuters.  

The outbreaks are atypical as they happen in nations where the virus does not regularly circulate, as per the WHO. Scientists are also looking to understand the origin of the cases and if anything has changed in the virus.   

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(With inputs from agencies) 

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