12 Jul 2022 10:15

Russia records first monkeypox case on its territory

MOSCOW. July 12 (Interfax) - The first monkeypox case has been recorded in Russia; the patient had been on a trip to Europe, the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) said in a statement.

"The first monkeypox case has been recorded in Russia. A young man, who had been on a trip to Europe and came to a healthcare establishment with characteristic rush, has been diagnosed with the disease," Rospotrebnadzor said.

The patient's biomaterial was promptly sent to a Rospotrebnadzor laboratory, which confirmed monkeypox.

"The patient is in isolation in an infectious disease hospital. This is a mild case, and the patient's condition is not life-threatening. He has had limited contacts in Russia and lives alone," Rospotrebnadzor said.

All contacts were quickly identified and placed under medical surveillance, it said.

"Should they be diagnosed with the infection, they will receive proper medical attendance. The spread of the infection has been contained by the timely epidemiological analysis. Rospotrebnadzor is closely monitoring the case," the statement said.

The first patient was rapidly detected thanks to a test kit provided to regions by Rospotrebnadzor's Vector Center, the statement said. Passengers arriving from countries, which have confirmed monkeypox cases, are priority screened.

Earlier smallpox vaccination lowers the risk of a severe monkeypox condition, "as all poxviruses elicit good cross immunity," Rospotrebnadzor said.

"Thanks to the earlier massive smallpox vaccination in Russia, there is a substantial immunity to help contain the monkeypox spread," it said.

Russia has a sufficient stock of reagents to diagnose monkeypox, Rospotrebnadzor said.

"While in contact with people who have arrived from countries with recorded cases of the disease and are feeling unwell, one should take basic precautions - use a mask and practice hand hygiene. Monkeypox is not highly contagious, yet human-to-human transmission is possible via airborne droplets in the event of prolonged personal contact. Infection may also be contracted by physical contact with the lesions of an infected person, objects contaminated with biological fluids, and biomaterial from the lesions of a sick person," it said.

Travelers to African countries, where monkeypox is endemic, should avoid contact with animals that could be carrying the virus, especially rodents and primates, Rospotrebnadzor said.

Monkeypox is a rare infectious disease mostly common to remote parts of central and western Africa. Its symptoms include nausea, fever, rash, itching, and muscle pain.