Oleksandr Kvitashvili: 51 people die with flu in Ukraine


Kyiv, January 19, 2016. 51 lethal cases of flu and ARVI were recorded in Ukraine, mostly caused by the fact that people from vulnerable groups sought treatment too late, said the Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine Oleksandr Kvitashvili at a press briefing in Ukraine Crisis Media Center. The Minister said people must not panic. Instead, they are to seek medical advice at once and refrain from self-medication. “We would like to assure you there are no grounds for panic. Ukraine remains on the same level with European countries. As you know, both Eastern and Western Europe are going through the season of flu at present. Our percentage [sickness rate in relation to general population – ed. UCMC] falls within the same level as theirs,” said the minister.

According to Kvitashvili, 17 regions of Ukraine approached the epidemic threshold, and two regions – Donetsk and Rivne regions – are on the verge of epidemics. Seven lethal cases were recorded in Vinnytsia, two cases in Volyn, four in Donetsk, one in Zhytomyr, one in Zaporizhzhia, one in Kirovohrad, 20 in Odesa, three in Rivne, two in Kharkiv, two in Cherkasy region, one in Chernivtsi region and one in Lviv 1. Five lethal cases were recorded in Kyiv.

Liubov Nekrasova, head of the state institution “Ukrainian center for control and monitoring of diseases of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine”, said recent information shows that 2,433,550 people in Ukraine had a flu and acute respiratory viral infection (ARVI). “It makes approximately 6% of Ukrainian population. The majority of those who sought treatment were children, i.e. 67%. This means that disease rate among children under 17 decreased by 10%. Nevertheless, number of adults who fell ill within this period increased,” emphasized Nekrasova. At the same time, she said the biggest disease rate is registered in Kyiv and Kyiv region and the smallest in Zakarpattia, Ternopil and Kharkiv regions. “88,384 people were sent into hospitals with on-the-spot diagnosis with flu and ARVI, or 3.6% of those who fell ill. 74% of them are children,” said Nekrasova.

The expert said that first of all lethal cases of flu are caused by fulminant pneumonia. “There is a severe acute respiratory syndrome, and flu causes it in the first two-three days,” she said. Nekrasova emphasized that at the first signs of disease it is necessary to seek medical assistance as soon as possible and take the prescribed medicine during first 48 hours. “The virus locates in respiratory tract and is a cell parasite. Any anti-virus medicine is effective only when the virus starts reproducing. On the third day, when it had reproduced, broke a cell and got into blood, no medicine will provide the necessary therapeutic effect,” explained Nekrasova.

Taking into consideration the existing disease rate, learning process stopped in more than 4.5 thousand of educational establishments in Ukraine, said interim Head of the National Sanitary and Epidemiological Service of Ukraine Sviatoslav Protas. “According to recent information as of this morning, quarantine measures have been introduced in 16 regions of Ukraine. This list includes Vinnytsia, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Zhhytomyr, Zakarpattia, Kyiv, Kirovohrad, Odesa, Poltava, Rivne, Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson, Chernivtsi, Chernihiv regions of Kyiv city,” informed Protas. According to him, a pilot project of interactive map has been launched at the web site of the National Sanitary and Epidemiological Service. It allows current on-line monitoring of all the institutions introducing quarantine and the quarantine period.