Russia's Head State Sanitary Inspector, Academician Gennady Onishchenko is sure that there will be no wide-spread flu and ARD epidemic this year. Since the beginning of 2003 the World Health Organization has issued no warning about the spread of flu in Europe, Onishchenko noted. At the same time, in Asia (in Siangan) and Africa (Egypt) the number of reported type A flu (H3N2) cases increased, while Britain, France, Portugal and Finland saw the spreading of type B flu.
Within the Russian Federation flue epidemic has been registered in Omsk (Siberia). The epidemic threshold here was overstepped in the first week of the year, Gennady Onishchenko said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper. Omsk patients are reported to have type A flu (H3N2). It means that the gossip about the spread of new flu bacteria circulated by some mass media is groundless, the Head Sanitary Inspector noted.
He believes the epidemic in Omsk will go down in a week.
So far, in January 2003 388,836 flu cases have been registered in Russia, with 423 patients admitted to hospitals including 302 children.
No deaths have been reported, Gennady Onishchenko stressed.