Moscow: Russia has confirmed the first case of monkeypox in a young man who recently returned from Europe, the country`s consumer rights watchdog told reporters on Tuesday.”The first case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Russia. The disease was detected in a young man who returned from a trip to Europe and came to a medical facility with a rash that is common [for this disease],” Russia`s rights watchdog Rospotrebnazor was quoted as saying by Sputnik.
Rospotrebnadzor clarified that the patient has mild symptoms and is isolated. In the last week of June, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the monkeypox outbreak does not currently constitute a global public health concern but added that “intense response efforts” are needed to control further spread.
The announcement comes after WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus convened an Emergency Committee on the disease, under the International Health Regulations (IHR), to address the rising caseload. The PHEIC declaration is the highest level of global alert, which currently applies only to the COVID-19 pandemic and polio.
Monkeypox, a rare viral disease, occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa, though it is occasionally exported to other regions. Since May, more than 3,000 cases have emerged in 47 countries, many of which have never previously reported the disease. The highest numbers are currently in Europe, and most cases are among men who have sex with men.
Tedros said he is deeply concerned by the spread of the disease, and that both he and WHO are following the evolving threat very closely. “What makes the current outbreak especially concerning is the rapid, continuing spread into new countries and regions and the risk of further, sustained transmission into vulnerable populations including people that are immunocompromised, pregnant women and children,” he said.
He underscored the need for both collective attention and coordinated action through public health measures including surveillance, contact-tracing, isolation and care of patients, and ensuring vaccines, treatments and other tools are available to at-risk populations and shared fairly. The WHO chief noted that the Committee had pointed out that Monkeypox has been circulating in a number of African countries for decades and has been neglected in terms of research, attention and funding.