An infected young man returned from a European trip, the consumer health watchdog has said

The first case of monkeypox has been detected in Russia, consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor announced on Tuesday, adding that further spread of the disease was prevented due to a “timely epidemiological investigation.”

According to the Russian Health Ministry, the case was detected in St. Petersburg.

“The disease was detected in a young man who returned from a trip to Europe and applied to a medical facility with a characteristic rash,” Rospotrebnadzor said in a statement, adding that there is no threat to the patient’s life, as “the disease proceeds in a mild form.”

The authorities took measures to prevent further spread, Rospotrebnadzor stressed. The patient’s contacts have been traced and are now “under medical supervision.” The young man lives alone and had limited contact with others in Russia upon returning from Europe, according to the statement.

The watchdog said that Russia has all the necessary means to detect the infection, and that the authorities are closely monitoring the situation.

Particular attention is paid to those who arrived from countries where cases of infection have already been registered, as well as to patients with symptoms of exanthemic diseases.

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WHO issues fresh warning over monkeypox

Rospotrebnadzor also claimed that the country’s population “has a significant immune layer necessary to stop the spread of monkeypox” due to the mass vaccination against smallpox carried out in the past.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional director for Europe, Dr. Hans Kluge, called for “urgent and coordinated action” amid the rapid spread of monkeypox cases around the world, especially Europe.

As of July 11, a total of 9,647 cases has been detected in 63 countries, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The largest number of cases – 2034 – has been registered in Spain. 

The WHO says that “most reported cases so far have been identified through sexual health or other health services in primary or secondary health-care facilities and have involved mainly, but not exclusively, men who have sex with men.

The virus can be spread through close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, as well as via contaminated materials.

The initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. A rash often begins on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body, although the WHO noted that patients affected by the current outbreak have developed lesions on the genitals and anus, and not some of the traditional flu-like symptoms of the infection.

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