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Monkeypox cases continue to rise int he world and last week there was a 20 per cent jump in cases. According to the data recorded by CDC, the total tally of cases have exceeded 35000 last week and has almost reached 40,000 this week in 94 countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) told the agencies that the monkeypox virus is mutating fast and that is increasing the rate of infection and transmission. Studies are currently underway regarding the mutating virus to prove the fact that genetic changes in the virus is causing this massive spread.
The UN health body had earlier issued a warning for people who are infected to not be around animals right after the first case of human to dog monkeypox was confirmed. This brought on the fear that the virus could have mutated.
WHO reported to agencies that they have indeed spotted some genetic differences between the older Clade IIb virus and the virus from the current outbreak. Studies are still being conducted to prove this theory and establish how the variants are impacting transmission and severity of the disease. There are two possible factors affecting the spread, the mutation in the virus and host or human factors. Both of these should be taken into consideration.
Currently, there is no proven information on the meaning of the mutations with regard to how the virus interacts with the immune response from humans. However, it is clear that the variant that has cause this current outbreak is not any different from the non-endemic countries.
Two distinct variants were observed in Africa where the disease are an endemic, the Congo Basin (Central African) and West African clades. The variants were named after the African regions where it was predominant. Today, WHO has renamed the variants to Clade I and Clade II respectively. They also stated that the variants Clade II has two sub-clades. The sub-clades are IIa and IIb.
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