The monkeypox virus, which suddenly emerged all over the world in the previous month, could have been circulating “Under the radar” for months or even years, as per the virologist Marc Van Ranst.
The virus may have been on the rise for much longer, but many of the cases are mild, with researchers calling them “Atypically subtle” in some of the issues, that they can easily be mistaken for sexually transmitted diseases or remain undetected.
Van Ranst shared the information during an interview, “The monkeypox virus probably circulated in humans for several months or even longer without being detected,” adding that his laboratory’s sequencing revealed genetic mutations of the monkeypox that were “Limited” and that “None of them is smoking guns.”
Moreover, the virologist mentioned in the statement, “Everybody is interested in more complete genomes (genetic composition of the virus) to get an idea about quite an important question: How long have these viruses been circulating under the radar?”
“I think nobody believes this jumped out of Africa a couple of weeks ago.”
Based on the latest figures from epidemiologist Moritz Kraemer of Oxford University, more than 1,000 confirmed cases have been recorded worldwide. The previous Friday, the Sciensano health institute reported that 17 of those were detected in Belgium.
Along with this, on a normal basis, the monkeypox virus is mainly found in West and Central African nations or in the people who have traveled through that region, as well as transmitted from animal to human. The fact that they are now appearing elsewhere and being transmitted from person to person without any link to this is “Unusual” and under investigation.
Dr Rosamund Lewis of the World Health Organisation (WHO) states, “We do not know how long that might have been the case. We do not know if it could be weeks, months or maybe a few years.”