As SA records second monkeypox case, scientists warn virus is mutating faster than expected

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Pox virus, illustration. Pox viruses are oval shaped and have double-strand DNA. There are many types of Pox virus including Chickenpox, Monkeypox and Smallpox. Smallpox was eradicated in the 1970s. Infection occurs because of contact with contaminated animals or people and results in a rash or small bumps on the skin.
Pox virus, illustration. Pox viruses are oval shaped and have double-strand DNA. There are many types of Pox virus including Chickenpox, Monkeypox and Smallpox. Smallpox was eradicated in the 1970s. Infection occurs because of contact with contaminated animals or people and results in a rash or small bumps on the skin.

The monkeypox lineage behind the current global outbreak is believed to have far more mutations than expected, according to a new study published in Nature Medicine.  

In fact, a team of scientists from Portugal say the virus seems to have undergone "accelerated evolution" and adaptation during human-to-human transmission during the outbreak.

Mutations refer to individual changes in the virus' genetic code. Often, mutations of the virus will not bear any significant implications on its ability to spread or cause disease. However, these 50 new mutations may make the monkeypox virus more infectious, the scientists suggest.

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