Russia has urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to investigate US-funded laboratories found in Nigeria, suggesting that these may be the source of the latest outbreak of monkeypox.
On Friday, May 27, the head of the Russian Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense Force, Igor Kirillov, stated that “according to a WHO [World Health Organization] report, the South African monkeypox strain was exported from Nigeria,” which is one of the countries where the US has biological infrastructure.
Kirillov specified that, according to available information, “at least four biological laboratories controlled by Washington” operate in Nigeria.
“We call on WHO leaders to investigate the activities of US-funded Nigerian laboratories in Abuja, Zaria and Lagos, and inform their results to the world community,” said Kirillov.
US violation of biosafety requirements
Kirillov explained that Russia has requested the investigation due to “the numerous instances of US violations of biosafety requirements and evidence of careless storage of pathogenic biomaterials.”
Monkeypox is a rare zoonotic disease transmitted through close and prolonged contact with an infected person, a carrier animal or contaminated objects. It symptoms are fever, headache, muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and rashes on hands and face similar to those produced by now eradicated smallpox, although less severe.
Monkeypox, which was originally detected in central and western Africa in 1970, has spread to more than a dozen European countries, as well as Sudan, Argentina, Bolivia, Australia, Israel-occupied territories, Canada, and the United States.
Featured image: The head of the Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense Troops of the Russian Armed Forces, Igor Kirillov. Photo: TASS.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune