The world will develop a vaccine against atypical pneumonia in three-five years at the earliest, Vitaly Zverev, director of the Andzhaparidze Research Institute of Viral Medicaments and a member of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences said at a RIA Novosti press conference Monday.
"Statements to the effect that an anti-SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) vaccine will be developed in two or three months sound irresponsible," Zverev said. "Such a vaccine may be developed in three years at the earliest provided a country spends large material and scientific means on its development." According to the academician, the problem of atypical pneumonia is much exaggerated. Thus, Zverev says, according to the World Health Organisation, some 800,000 people died of measles in 2002, while a few million people die of hepatitis annually.
"This problem is guided by a panic fear, not by common sense," the academician stressed. According to Zverev, the number of people infected by pneumonia is also doubtful. He said that so far there had been no systems of diagnosing coronoviruses to which atypical pneumonia belongs. "We should be careful with such diagnoses; this is scientific diagnostics, not medical, and it is not very reliable," Zverev stressed.
He added that not a single antiviral medication had been so far developed in the world. According to the scientist, preventive vaccination is a major means of fighting the disease.