Thursday, June 21, 2018

Eight hospitalized as a result of suspected tularemia outbreak

Last week, eight people were hospitalized in the Berezovsky area of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District with symptoms that appeared to be associated with tularemia.

Tularemia is an infection which produces fever and swollen lymph nodes in humans and is transmitted through insect and rodent bites, ITAR-TASS reports.

"Two people diagnosis was confirmed, they have treated and discharged, six more are awaiting the results of the analysis," Rospotrebnadzor Deputy head Ugra Kudryavtseva, according to ITAR-TASS.

Health officials from Rospotrebnadzor noted that reported cases of tularemia typically increase during late summer. The only way to prevent the disease is to be vaccinated despite the fact that approximately 20 percent of the human population is immune to tularemia.

This year, doctors hope to vaccinate more than 270,000 residents of Khanty-Mansi against tularemia-- approximately 15.7 percent of the susceptible population. In 2013, nearly one thousand people were treated for the disease. The number of infected residents was so high that the epidemic was declared a regional emergency, ITAR-TASS reports.

Tularemia, when treated, is rarely lethal. Vaccines for the disease are created from rodents found in the Nizhnevartovsk and Surgut regions which have active antibodies against the illness.