Monkeypox virus first came to our attention last year, but it has been around for a very long time. Firstly identified in 1958, it has spread to some 48 nations globally, infecting more than 3,500 people. Although centered on continents such as Africa and Asia, this virus has spread for the first time in a significant manner to Western nations, ultimately bringing the attention needed for so significant a virus.
Traditional medical knowledge tells us that this virus spreads through bodily droplets, therefore person-to-person contact is needed. What has concerned the medical community has been the uncanny ability this virus has to mutate. Medical authorities have recognized that monkeypox carries 50 new mutations not seen previously. The spread of this virus suggests that its ability to mutate also may increase its way of spreading to the subject population.
Can this virus be spread through contact with objects, by touch, or is it possibly spread in the air we breathed? There are multiple problems when dealing with a virus that mutates as many times as does monkeypox.
- Are these mutation’s singularly continuing to mutate or stable?
- If vaccination is found for the core virus, will it be effective for all strains?
- What causes so many mutations? Environmental, biological or physical elements?
- 4 Are human adaption abilities too accepting to these viruses?
- Is there a difference between human and animal spread viruses?
When a virus attacks our immune system, our bodies release enzymes that attack this invader. The enzymes try to stop the virus from genetically copying itself within the host, making the virus fall apart. Sometimes this does not happen successfully, and the virus strain survives, and picks up a new genetic code, allowing it to mutate. The more a virus faces human enzymes or vaccine assaults, the greater the possibility it will mutate.
Our experience with COVID-19 has perhaps prepared us for the inevitable spread of monkeypox and other viruses, having greater influence over our lives and how we will live them.