First case of swine flu in Russia

A New York-Moscow flight passenger diagnosed with swine flu A of the H1N1 subtype has been hospitalized, and is in a satisfactory condition according to Russia’s Chief Sanitary Inspector Gennady Onishchenko.

Interfax reported that the first ever case of swine influenza A/H1N1 in Russia, was diagnosed on Friday in a 28 year-old patient who returned to Moscow from New York the day before.

Upon return from the United States, the man was admitted to the clinic with cold-like symptoms. Gennady Onishchenko told Interfax that laboratory tests had confirmed the presence of A/H1N1 "California” virus.

“The tests were positive. He was hospitalized in the First Infectious Clinical Hospital. The man’s condition is normal and he is adequately treated. He does not have fever, and his condition is satisfactory,” said Onishchenko.

Those who were in contact with the patient have also been checked but have returned negative results.

The case is currently being discussed on a special meeting in Russia’s Rospotrebnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision of Consumers Protection).

It also ordered authorities at one of Moscow’s international airports, Sheremetyevo, to tighten controls over passengers and their luggage.

Professor Lvov provided details to RT

Professor Dmitry Lvov, from the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, provided RT with more details on this case.

According to Lvov, the patient exhibited the first symptoms on 17 of May while being in the US. His illness progressed when the man returned to Russia.

“We received samples from the man yesterday in the afternoon. After having performed a series of laboratory tests, I was ready to provide preliminary results today at 11 am – to the WHO, Chief Sanitary Inspector and Health Minister – confirming the first occurrence of the swine-like influenza virus H1N1 in Moscow,” said the senior virologist.

Additional molecular-genetic tests were carried out in Moscow at the Ivanovsky Institute of Virology of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. The results were available at 6 pm and further confirmed the initial diagnosis, according to Professor Lvov.

Virus from the lab

American investigative journalist Wayne Madsen believes the resurgence of the virus could be the work of some “mad” scientists

“This particular A/H1N1 virus is being called swine flu, but there’s no evidence that this flu has been passed to humans by either pigs or by birds. This flu (its genetic material) of course was extracted –it was extracted from a woman who had succumbed to a 1918 Spanish flu in Alaska. And much like the movie “Jurassic Park”, this flu was brought back to life,” Madsen said.

“The question is – was this legitimate genetic research or was this the work of some mad scientist. I think the question to be asked is why this particular flu was brought back to life after it was extinct,” he added.

Swine flu statistics

According to the latest figures from the World Health Organization, the A/H1N1 world rate has grown to 11,168 in 42 countries, and the mortality rate stands at 86. A total of 134 new flu cases were registered over the past day.

The largest flu rate, 5,764, including nine deaths, has been reported from the United States. Mexico has confirmed 3,892 flu cases, including 75 lethal. The flu rate grew by 35 to 294 on Friday.

The largest number of flu patients in Europe has been reported from Spain (113) and the United Kingdom (112).