23 May 2022 12:17

Monkeypox virus can hardly cause pandemic - scientist

NOVOSIBIRSK. May 23 (Interfax) - The monkeypox virus, like other pox viruses, is very stable and can hardly cause a pandemic, Alexander Shestopalov, director of the Institute of Virology of the Federal Research Center for Fundamental and Translational Medicine (FRC FTM, Novosibirsk), said.

"The monkeypox virus has been known a long time, like other pox viruses, it's very stable. Few cases have now been registered, and the chance of a resident of Siberia or Vologda contracting it is not even zero, it's more likely negative," Shestopalov told Interfax on Monday.

Cases of the disease in various countries outside Africa where the virus is circulating have happened before, but no serious outbreaks were recorded.

There were no cases of the disease, for example, associated with the monkey nursery in Adler (Research Institute of Medical Primatology), the scientist said.

People vaccinated against natural pox are 100% protected, he said. The production of the vaccine will be easy to start if the need arises, he said.

"The technology is old, tested and inexpensive," Shestopalov said.

According to earlier reports, cases of monkeypox have been recorded in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Sweden, Australia, the United States, Spain, Portugal, and Canada.

Monkeypox is a rare infectious disease mostly spread in remote areas of Central and West Africa. Its symptoms are nausea, fever, rash, itchiness, and muscle aches. Cases recorded outside the region are often linked to visits to regions with an unfavorable epidemic situation.

The virus is spread by contact, but its virulence is low.