The novel coronavirus does not appear to be mutating in a dangerous way, according to experts studying the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, the WHO said scientists around the world have identified more than 40,000 full genome sequences of the virus, but fortunately, these mutations are not stronger new strains.
“Scientists are looking to see: are there changes in the virus? And as it is a coronavirus — it is an RNA virus — there are normal changes in this virus that one would expect over time,” WHO infectious disease epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said at the press conference.
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“None of these changes so far indicate that the virus itself is changing in terms of its ability to transmit or to cause more severe disease.”
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Still, the novel coronavirus is dangerous and a serious health threat, Van Kerkhove stressed. She added that the more time the virus circulates, it can continue to have devastating effects — especially if COVID-19 prevention measures are not practised by citizens.