Authorities say importing Alaskan smallpox into Russia is not risky

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The Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) denied information about the possible import of the Alaskapox virus (Alaskan smallpox) into Russia. Enhanced control has been organized at the border to prevent such cases, the department’s press service said.
“Despite the fact that the number of people leaving the continent is minimal, Rospotrebnadzor specialists are monitoring the situation at checkpoints across the state border. For these purposes, the Perimeter automated information system has been used, which makes it possible to analyze and identify citizens with signs of infectious diseases,” the message notes.
Alaskan smallpox is most common in small mammals, but domestic animals may be involved in spreading the virus. No cases of human-to-human transmission of the virus have been reported yet. However, the first human death with Alaskapox occurred in January. It was an elderly resident of Alaska whose immune system was weakened. It is assumed that a cat infected him with smallpox, despite the fact that a test taken from the animal did not show the presence of the virus.