Atypical Pneumonia Virus Cannot Be Barred from Moscow - 10 April, 2003

Over 20,000 passengers arriving in Moscow from the countries of Southeast Asia and Europe which reported cases of atypical pneumonia have been examined at Moscow's air and railway terminals, Nikolai Filatov said to journalists on Tuesday. He is the chief state sanitary physician of Moscow.

Additional measures to prevent atypical pneumonia from getting into Moscow have been taken at border automobile passes, airports and railway stations, he said.

As of now, five suspicious cases of the disease import have been registered in Moscow. Luckily, the preliminary diagnoses have not proved true.

Still, "the import of this disease to Moscow cannot be ruled out," said Filatov. The Moscow authorities have set up an anti-epidemiological commission, which will do work in several directions. It is, above all, "case-detection organisational steps". They are - stocking up reserves of interferon, hormonal preparations, antibiotics, gauze bandages, preparation of infection cubicles in two clinical hospitals, issue of leaflets calling on people not to go to "dangerous" countries if unnecessary, prevention of illegal migration.

If cases of atypical pneumonia spring up, the commission will take emergency measures, such as revealing contacts and putting them in isolation.