Mysterious disease in Stavropol
An epidemic of an unknown disease has been reported in the Stavropol Territory, in Russia’s European south. 168 people, including 160 children, have become infected in Chernolessk town during a day. The town’s school and kindergarten have been closed. The patients are being transferred to a hospital located in the region’s centre of Novoseletskoye. The majority of patients’ condition is assessed as serious, according to the NTV television channel. To be on the safe side, authorities have inactivated local water pumps. The procurator’s office has begun an investigation of its own. Chernolessk has never seen such a massive contagion. The cause of it will be identified as soon as either pathogenic organism or a toxic agent are found by specialists. It may be noteworthy that it is not the first case of this kind in Russia’s European south. In 1999, a strange epidemic broke out in the Cossack village of Oblivskaya, the Rostov Region, where 200 people fell ill. Then, insects and rodents were liquidated in the area. Subsequently, Gennadi Onishchenko, Russia’s chief sanitary inspector, admitted the Oblivskaya residents contracted Congo-Crimean haemorrhagic fever. In the summer of 2000, haemorrhagic fever cases were registered in some of the villages in the Stavropol Territory.