Swine flu is swiping across Russia. In 49 regions of Russia, there are reports of several dozen cases of swine flu since 2015. Some of these cases are also reported as fatal.
Gulf News reported that around 50 people have died of swine flu last month in Russia. The report has been based on the data provided by regional health authorities. Health authorities in the southern region of Rostov informed that 2 other people have succumbed to the virus. It has been reported that 147 people in Moscow were found infected.
Maria Khitarishvili, the spokesperson for local health authorities, informed on Tuesday, “Five people have died from the H1N1 virus in Saint Petersburg.” She further stated, “Identification procedures for three other flu-related deaths have yet to be completed”.
Local authorities in Saint Petersburg informed that 313 people had been hospitalized with the virus within a span of 10 days. In the Dagestan region four adults and one child died from swine flu, as reported by Daily Nation.
“You need to take care of yourselves, because this flu is extremely unpleasant, dangerous, and carries a high risk of complications that can develop very quickly,” stated Anna Popova, the head of Russia’s public health watchdog.
Russian Health officials have asked people not to panic and advised them to seek vaccination. Igor Nikonorov, a senior staff member at the Federal Flu Research Institute, told people, “This virus is covered by all the vaccines currently available. Everyone who has died so far in St Petersburg was not vaccinated.”
The World Health Organization also said that the swine flu outbreak in Russia does not in any way resembled the 2009 pandemic, neither in scale nor in deadliness. It urged people to seek vaccination as soon as possible.
Dr. Caroline Brown, programme manager for influenza and respiratory pathogens at the WHO regional office for Europe, informed, “Since its emergence in 2009, A (H1N1) is known to cause severe disease in otherwise healthy, younger adults compared with the A (H3N2) virus which causes severe disease and death especially in the elderly. So countries where A (H1N1) virus is dominant, can expect an increase in the level of severe disease and deaths in young, otherwise healthy adults including pregnant women.”
Cases of swine flu are also reported in the neighbouring countries Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine. The authorities of these countries have decided to take measures seeing the spread of the virus in Russia.
The health authorities of Iran also reported that 112 people had died from swine flu and around 1000 infected people in the country were hospitalized since mid-November .