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'It's not COVID' -WHO puts monkeypox 'into context'

STORY: The World Health Organization said it expects to identify more cases of monkeypox as it expands surveillance in countries where the disease is not typically found.

“As surveillance expends, we expect that more cases will be seen,” the WHO's emerging diseases and zoonoses lead and technical lead on COVID-19, Maria van Kerkhove told a social media event.

Rosamund Lewis, head of the smallpox secretariat which is part of the WHO Emergencies Program, told the same event that mutations are typically lower with this virus, although genome sequencing of cases will help inform understanding of the current outbreak.

The more than 100 suspected and confirmed cases in the recent outbreak in Europe and North America have not been severe, Van Kerkhove, said.

"This is a containable situation," she said.

The outbreaks are atypical, according to the WHO, as they are occurring in countries where the virus does not regularly circulate. Scientists are seeking to understand the origin of the cases and whether anything about the virus has changed.