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23 Jun, 2007 13:19

Mass poisoning in Moscow region

A case of mass poisoning in the Moscow region has prompted a criminal investigation. More than a thousand foreign workers sought medical help for symptoms of salmonellosis. Hospitals in the Moscow region are working at full capacity with more than 300 peo

Extra beds have had to be put up to deal with the influx. All of the workers complained of the same symptoms and although the diagnosis is preliminary, most of the doctors are sure it's salmonellosis.

“Most likely, the illness is linked to the food they've eaten. We're presuming it's salmonellosis. We have done tests. The final diagnosis should be known soon,” Oleg Nelyubov, the head doctor of Solnechnogorsk district central hospital, commented.

Most of the people who sought medical attention are workers from a construction firm, which is building a new terminal at the Sheremetyevo airport.

They are housed in a block nearby, where the disease first appeared.

Now, Moscow region authorities and health services are intending to hand over data about health violations to the Prosecutor's Office.

Russia's Chief Health Officer Gennady Onishchenko says that, “System violations, which for the most part result in hundreds of seriously ill people, are intolerable. I think that the criminal prosecutions which will follow will give a final assessment of their condition”.

While the prosecutors look over the paperwork for the criminal case, specialists from the federal agency for consumer rights have already started to carry out checks of local food shops and markets.

Meanwhile, the housing site of the workers has been disinfected to prevent any further spread.