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Monkeypox may be imported to Russia, expert warns

Natalya Pshenichnaya recalled that no human monkeypox cases have been confirmed in the country so far

MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. There is a risk that monkeypox will be imported to Russia, Deputy Director for Clinical and Analytical Work at the Russian sanitary watchdog's Central Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology Natalya Pshenichnaya said at a press conference on Wednesday.

"No human monkeypox cases have been confirmed in Russia so far but the risk is certainly there. No one can rule out the risk of imported cases so Rospotrebnadzor (Russia’s sanitary watchdog - TASS) has strengthened measures to prevent monkeypox from being brought to Russia," she noted.

Pshenichnaya emphasized that medical workers were taking the temperature of passengers arriving at Russian airports both onboard and in arrival halls. "It is the same as it was with the coronavirus. All arriving passengers also fill out special forms," the expert added.

However, Pshenichnaya does not expert monkeypox to cause a pandemic because "it is a completely different virus, it does not spread as quickly as SARS-CoV-2." The monkeypox virus has a long incubation period and its ways of transmission "make it possible to say that this infection can be controlled and contained," Pshenichnaya concluded.