Two new influenza types to hit Russia this fall

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.

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Author`s name Andrey Mikhailov