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MERS Spread to Russia Possible - Russian Public Health Watchdog

© AFP 2021 / JUNG YEON-JE South Korean soldiers check the body heat of visitors at the entrance of the Defence Ministry in Seoul on June 9, 2015
South Korean soldiers check the body heat of visitors at the entrance of the Defence Ministry in Seoul on June 9, 2015 - Sputnik International
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According to head of Russia's state health watchdog, there is a danger of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus being spread to Russia.

Workers in full protective gear disinfect the interior of a subway train at a Seoul Metro's railway vehicle base in Goyang, South Korea, June 9, 2015 - Sputnik International
Russia’s Far East on Alert as People Arrive From MERS-Hit South Korea
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – There is a danger of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus being spread to Russia, the head of Russia's state health watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, said on Wednesday.

"The risk of any infection being spread to any country in the world exists due to intensive migration within the population…only if someone is completely isolated could one say that there is total protection, and there are no such states," Anna Popova said.

Some 108 confirmed cases of MERS had been registered in South Korea by Wednesday. Authorities there have quarantined over 2,800 people. The outbreak of the virus in the country has already taken nine lives, but Popova emphasized that the World Health Organization has not yet recommended that countries introduce travel bans on the South Korea.

"Epidemiological reasons for this [a ban] definitely do not exist," Popova evaluated.

She added that staff at Russian airports have been equipped to respond to potential cases of infection, and are meeting with passengers off all flights from South Korea.

MERS coronavirus triggers symptoms such as fever, coughing and a shortness of breath. Its incubation period is estimated at five to six days, extending for a maximum of about two weeks.

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