Russian Virologists: Atypical Pneumonia is No Threat to the Population of the Earth

Russian virologists do not regard the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) as a threat to the population on our planet. Anatoly Vorobyev, member of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and head of the chair of microbiology and immunology of the Moscow Sechenov Medical Academy, said this at a press conference in RIA Novosti on Monday.

"The virologists have not been surprised with the appearance of a new disease," pointed out the academician. He reminded the audience that in the past 30-40 years, about thirty new virus diseases had appeared in the world, the diseases that cause a lethal end. These diseases include virus hepatitis, hemorrhagic fever, and AIDS.

"We have inside us about two kilogrammes of harmless microbes. At the present time, the world knows about 100,000 micro-organisms," and only a small part of them can cause diseases, said Anatoly Vorobyev.

He reminded the audience that in the past few months atypical pneumonia had killed 526 people. At the same time, according to the World Health Organisation, in the past fifteen years the same number of people as in the Second World War died of virus hepatitis - 40 million people.

In the opinion of the academician, in the near future the SARS virus will be deciphered. "But people are concerned about biological security, and today the entire world is disturbed, because nobody knows what to do," noted Anatoly Vorobyev.

The main mistake which was made in finding out SARS was, in the opinion of Vorobyev, that from the very beginning tough measures were not taken for isolating SARS cases and carrying out quarantine measures.

At the same time, he pointed out that all the necessary measures were being taken in Russia now to prevent the severe acute respiratory syndrome. "In our country this problem is being solved correctly," underscored the scientist.

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Author`s name Editorial Team