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Monkeypox found to have 'accelerated evolution,' more than it should

Monkeypox outbreaks have now been recorded in 50+ countries, and genetic analysis reveals it is mutating 6-12x faster than normal.

Published Jun 28, 2022 5:34 AM CDT   |   Updated Fri, Jul 22 2022 4:32 AM CDT

A study on the evolution of monkeypox titled "Phylogenomic characterization and signs of microevolution in the 2022 multi-country outbreak of monkeypox virus" has been published in the journal Nature Medicine.

Monkeypox found to have 'accelerated evolution,' more than it should 01 |

Researchers from Portugal have completed a genetic study of 15 samples of the monkeypox virus, which has surfaced in over fifty countries so far, despite normally being relegated to Africa. Monkeypox comes from the same genus as smallpox and comes in two main varieties of monkeypox; the West African and Congo Basin forms.

Prior research has shown monkeypox ends up mutating once or twice yearly. However, new samples from 15 patients have revealed the virus is currently mutating about 6 to 12 times more frequently than expected. The accelerated mutation rate may suggest that the virus is now infecting people via a new pathway, compared to the traditional transmission methods through open wounds, bodily fluids, or airborne droplets.

You can read more from the study here.

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