Written by By Allison Naimoli, CNN
In the early hours of Saturday, October 27, a new hybrid virus was identified and confirmed by the World Health Organization to be among the most dangerous and lethal viruses ever found. In an update on the outbreak, the WHO says it is “expected that the risk to health and well-being is likely to increase over the coming weeks and months.”
Because the virus appears to be so infectious and has mutations in the genetic structure which are highly mutative, the WHO suggested that there are likely to be other more mutated strains, which could be more dangerous than this one.
An investigation was launched into the cause of the incident, which in theory, could be linked to the 2017 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS) outbreak.
The WHO said that after the viral introduction in April 2018, all animal cases of the virus have been identified. However, since its detection in the population a number of additional cases have been identified, with one individual being identified as a laboratory-confirmed case, and the human-to-human spread of this infection “appears to be ongoing.”
The WHO stresses that this variant of Vibrio vulnificus does not yet present any threat to human health, although it recommends that travellers take appropriate precautions. It also recommends that care be taken during recreational water consumption, as it is highly probable that the virus can travel up the food chain to other hosts.
WHO researchers and partners are currently tracing the onward movement of the virus from one animal to another.
The WHO also states that it stands ready to assist at the request of the Philippines, and has immediately contacted all states in the Southeast Asia region to ask for their full cooperation in the fight against the outbreak.