WHO says coronavirus isn't mutating into dangerous form

The coronavirus is not mutating to become more dangerous, World Health Organization (WHO) officials announced at a briefing on Wednesday.

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“As it is a coronavirus – it is an RNA virus – there are normal changes in this virus that one would expect over time,” said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO infectious disease epidemiologist. “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.”

She said WHO and its network of scientists continue to study the 40,000 full genome sequences available in monitoring for mutations.

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Van Kerkhove said people may also be growing tired of public health and social measures, like the distancing rules and lockdowns, which could pose a greater threat.

“It's very difficult to keep up all of these measures and we must remain strong and vigilant,” Van Kerkhove said.

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The WHO official said in some situations, the measures may need to be reintroduced, which could understandably frustrate people.

Complacency around the virus could make it more dangerous, she added.