A flu epidemic has started in Russia, the Scientific Research Institute for Influenza of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences reported to RIA Novosti on Thursday.
An analysis of observations from Jan. 20 to 26 revealed that cold and flu epidemic thresholds had been exceeded in all age groups in three cities - Omsk in Siberia (65-130 percent) and Rostov-on-Don (15-76 percent) and Astrakhan (46-71 percent) in southern Russia.
Furthermore, in some cities notably including Moscow, Arkhangelsk, Murmansk, Magadan, Novosibirsk, Kirov and Barnaul epidemic thresholds had been reached among schoolchildren, in Barnaul and Volgograd, among children under the age of 2, and in Chelyabinsk and Novosibirsk among adults over 15.
By comparison with the previous observation period, in most cities of Russia susceptibility had increased significantly among schoolchildren (from 22 to 106 percent). The same tendency was observed in other age groups, although less clearly.
Specialists at the Scientific Research Institute for Influenza believe the situation may be viewed as the beginning of a flu epidemic in the territory of Russia.