According to RIA "Novosti" vaccination against influenza starts on 1 October in Russia. This fall and winter Russians will face "familiar" influenza viruses of type A (subtypes H3N1 and H1N1) and type B. Strains of this viruses are being a part of all anti-influenza vaccines.
Gennady Onischenko the Chief Sanitary Doctor of Russia expects 1,5 – 2 million people to be ill with influenza and 22 million with acute respiratory diseases (ARD) in this epidemic season.
The growth of incidence with flu and ARD will start already in the middle of November, and the epidemic will start in January. Risk groups include children, seniors, people with chronic somatic diseases and also medics and transport workers. Of this people 20 million should be vaccinated.
The two new influenza types are expected in Russia this fall are "Shanghai" (strain of the A type – the so-called "bird flu") and "Futsyan" (strain of the B type).
Experts of the World Health Organization (WHO) think that the world is on the brink of pandemic (global epidemic ) of flu. And although Russian scientists aren't predicting the global pandemic they do expect the appearance of the two new flu types.
These are very young strains, discovered in 2002, and their impact on humans is known insufficiently, tells GZT.Ru. Flu of type B circulates only among humans while type A is equally dangerous for Man and animals. Viruses of the latter type are considered the most dangerous due to their abruptness and disposition to mutate.
"Influenza pandemics happen 3-4 times a century and they are usually forestalled by massive infective episodes in animals; up to 60% of country's population becomes ill and thousands die in a pandemic", - tells the professor of the Institute of Virusology of RAMS, Nikolai Kaverin.
WHO declared pandemic situation as its experts fear the possible transmission of viruses from birds to people. Some specialists think that infective episodes in birds are a signal telling about the near global epidemic of flu among people.
Russian medics aren't waiting for a flu pandemic and they do not agree with the forecast from the WHO. "Flu pandemic can happen but only in the years," – assures Yuri Gendon, the Professor of the Institute of Viral Preparations of RAMS.
The beginning of October is the best time to vaccinate.
Medics recommend vaccinating before the epidemic starts to secure yourself and your family.