23 May 2022 17:01

No monkeypox cases found in Russia to date - Rospotrebnadzor

MOSCOW. May 23 (Interfax) - No monkeypox cases have been found in Russia to date, as Europe has reported cases of the disease, but the probability of monkeypox being imported to Russia has been assessed as low due to limited air travel, Russian consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said.

"As of May 23, no cases of monkeypox have been found in the Russian Federation. In order to prevent the importation of this disease to Russian territory, Rospotrebnadzor has tightened sanitary and quarantine control measures on the border. The service is monitoring the situation 24/7," the Rospotrebnadzor press service said.

The possibility of monkeypox spreading to Russia has been assessed "as low due to existing restrictions on air travel with the majority of countries where cases of this disease have been recorded," it said.

The previous smallpox vaccination campaign conducted in Russia lowers the risks of patients developing severe forms of monkeypox, "because all pox viruses elicit good cross-protective immune responses," it said.

"Thanks to the mass smallpox vaccination campaign conducted in Russia earlier, there are considerable immunity levels that are needed to curb the spread of monkeypox," Rospotrebnadzor said.

In order not to get infected, people who visit endemic countries are advised to avoid coming into contact with animals which may carry the virus, in particular rodents and primates.

"Those who have arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gabon, and South Sudan should be particularly vigilant. During visits to these countries, travelers are advised to only eat meat which has been thoroughly cooked," Rospotrebnadzor said.

Ninety-two monkeypox cases were reported in different countries between May 13 and May 21, the World Health Organization said earlier.

Another 28 people are showing suspected monkeypox symptoms. No deaths due to monkeypox have been reported so far. The top three countries where the disease has been found are Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom (from 21 to 30 cases). Cases of monkeypox have also been reported in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Israel, and the United States.