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No grounds for panic over monkeypox in Russia, top sanitary doctor says

However, it is important to be on alert, Anna Popova pointed out

MOSCOW, May 24. /TASS/. No cases of monkeypox have been recorded in Russia to date and there are no grounds for panic. The country is taking all the necessary measures, Head of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing Anna Popova said on Tuesday.

"To date, there have been no imported cases of monkeypox in Russia. Currently, there are no grounds for panic, no grounds for some supreme alert. Everything that needs to be done is currently being done in the country, we bolstered the sanitary and quarantine control, we held events: both outreach and instructional activities, and we are holding them today and will hold them tomorrow with our medical colleagues, doctors in all Russian regions. It is important to be on alert," she told the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station.

The chief sanitary doctor added that it is important for healthcare workers to be ready to encounter patients with monkeypox and diagnose the disease. "So that a doctor can presume at once that a person with a certain ailment may have this infection. The important factor here is the epidemiological background - if an individual visited [those countries that have this virus], then currently he is in a risk group. He should be on alert and warn the doctor," she noted adding that the incubation period for this virus may be up to 21 days.

Monkeypox is a rare viral disease, usually transmitted to humans by wild animals (rodents, primates). The symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and back pains, enlarged lymph nodes, chills and fatigue. It may also involve skin rash. According to the World Health Organization, usually the lethality coefficient during monkeypox outbreaks ranges from 1% to 10% with the majority of fatalities in the younger age groups.