MOSCOW, May 27. /TASS/. Lack of proper control could lead to the use of smallpox pathogens for terrorist purposes, Chief of Russian Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Force Igor Kirillov said on Friday.
"Lack of proper control and violations of biosafety requirements in the United States could cause the use of this pathogen for terrorist purposes. Between 2014 and 2021, unaccounted-for ampoules of the virus were repeatedly found in laboratories of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Maryland and the Vaccine Research Center (VRC) in Pennsylvania," Kirillov said.
According to him, the work at these organizations was conducted in violation of the 1996 World Health Assembly resolution, according to which smallpox pathogen can be stored in only one US laboratory, which is the National Center for Infectious Diseases in Atlanta.
The chief of Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Force noted that smallpox vaccination, which many countries do not currently have, provides protection against monkeypox. He pointed out the World Health Organization has announced an emergency meeting of member states on the occurrence of an outbreak of this dangerous infectious disease in May 2022.
"We know that so far, 98% of those who caught the disease are homosexual males over 20. Earlier, Dr. David Hermann, who formerly headed WHO's emergencies department, said in an interview with the American press that sexual transmission is the main cause of the spread of the disease," Kirillov added.