Friday, November 13, 2009

Ukraine flu epidemic slows

In the first two days of panic and hysteria, the main advisers and teachers of the people were politicians, including deputies, ministers, former ministers, but NOT DOCTORS. As soon as a doctor appeared on the TV screen, it turned out that politicians are better at talking. The apotheosis of panic was one presidential candidate’s declaration that Ukrainians are dying from lung plague. Another presidential candidate was loudly complaining that there is no oxoline ointment (a preventative drug produced in Ukraine), that the criminal pharmaceutical companies failed to import it. Unfortunately there is nobody to explain to the candidate that the effectiveness of this ointment is not proven, and it is imported by neither the United States, nor France, nor any other country. There are no doctors among presidential candidates, and it must be too expensive to keep a medical adviser on staff. Our lovely country of the rivers of milk and honey is still remains to be a country of bad roads and silly great talkers.

Now to some official numbers broadcasted recently by AFP news agency

KIEV (AFP) - An epidemic of flu and acute respiratory disorders has slowed down in Ukraine, officials said Monday, as the World Health Organization warned of a possible second wave of infections. "In the last few days, the number of patients falling ill per day has fallen," Ukraine's deputy health minister, Vasyl Lazoryshynets, said at a news conference. The number of new cases peaked on November 4 when more than 127,000 cases were registered. By Sunday, only 32,000 new cases were registered, Lazoryshynets said. Almost one million Ukrainians have been affected by the epidemic since it started in mid-October. Around 49,000 have been hospitalised and 155 have died, Lazoryshynets said. Among these, 65 cases of swine flu have been officially registered and 14 people have died of the A(H1N1) virus, a health ministry official tracking the epidemic, Mikhailo Golubchikov, told journalists. A World Health Organization delegation has spent a week in Ukraine and on Monday met President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. A spokesman for the delegation confirmed the drop in new cases, but raised the possibility of a new wave of cases in the next few months. "At the moment, we can see it has slowed down, but we cannot say whether it has been overcome," Christian Lindmeier told AFP. "In general worldwide, we're thinking about three waves: one now, one in midwinter, in January and February, and one later," Lindmeier said. "In Ukraine, it's not clear how the virus will continue," he added.

On the first photo you can see activists of Yulia Tymoshenko's Bloc handing out protective masks during pre-election campaign in central Kiev on November 9, 2009. Tymoshenko refuted that the epidemic may influence the date of the presidential elections. Another photo shows Ukrainian Prime Minister wearing a face mask as she visits a regional hospital in Lutsk, about 400 km (247 miles) west of Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009.