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Monkeypox less contagious than coronavirus infection, sanitary watchdog’s expert says

Monkeypox is a rare viral disease, usually transmitted to humans by wild animals

MOSCOW, May 25. /TASS/. The transmissibility of monkeypox is significantly lower than of the coronavirus infection, this is related to the different ways of contracting the virus, Viktor Maleyev, an advisor to the scientific director of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing said in an interview with the Russia-24 TV channel on Wednesday.

"Here, it is, of course, lower than one (the number of people infected by one patient - TASS), 0.5, maybe even less," he said, comparing the transmissibility of monkeypox with COVID-19 where one coronavirus patient can on average infect four people.

According to the expert, this is due to the fact that monkeypox is usually transmitted via direct contact while the coronavirus is actively spread by airborne transmission, which makes it much more contagious.

Additionally, the expert stressed that the situation with the spread of the virus may change at any moment, so Russia should have a supply of vaccines against it just in case. However, currently he does not see the need for mass inoculation. "If an adult is vaccinated with this jab, the reaction may be very strong, the immune response is very potent," he explained.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that outside of those countries where monkeypox is endemic, since the first report on May 7, some 131 confirmed cases of the infection have been registered and another 106 cases are being verified.

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 WHO, usually the lethality coefficient during monkeypox outbreaks ranges from 1% to 10% with the majority of fatalities in the younger age groups.