Thanks to a sharp eyed reader (@BVance) we have an update - posted today - from the WHO National Influenza Centre Of Russia that refutes recent Russian media claims (see A Russian Influenza Epidemiology Report To Ponder) of a `mutated, highly virulent H1N1 virus', but that does not back away from their own reports of recently identified antigenic changes.
As I pointed out this morning, there was nothing in Week 3 Russian Epi report to support the media's claim of increased `morbidity and mortality' associated with these changes.
This latest media release (in Russian) indicates that seasonal flu activity continues to rise across much of Russia, but denies the media's assertions of a hyper-virulent strain. While the intent of this strongly worded statement is to reign in a hyperbolic press, they go on to state:
The genomes examined to date strains indeed several mutations have been identified, but they are not associated with high pathogenicity, and are probably the result of conventional genetic drift.
As previously stated, the importance of all of this is whether any of these genetic changes might impact the selection (next month) of the H1N1 strain to be included in next fall's flu vaccine.
PRESS RELEASEThe epidemiological situation of influenza on 01/27/2016The rise of the incidence of influenza began with the 2nd week of 2016 in the Volga region (Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Stavropol) and has now exceeded the epidemic threshold fixed in 47 regions of the Russian Federation in all federal districts, except the Crimean Federal District.
At the present time (4 weeks. Years) the incidence of influenza and SARS on the population of the Russian Federation as a whole was 91.6 cases of flu and colds by 10 thousand. People., Which is higher than the baseline for Russia (69.5 cases) 31.8% and epidemiological week. threshold (61.8) 48.2%.
This week, compared with the previous week, the incidence observed in the cities of Russia continued to grow. The incidence of influenza and SARS on the European criteria relating to the mean intensity of the epidemic.
The geographical spread of the flu in Russia as a whole and in all districts widespread, except for Siberia, where the spread of influenza corresponds to the regional level.
The etiological structure of influenza overwhelming place is the virus that caused the pandemic of 2009 - A (H1N1) pdm09. A feature of the virus is higher pathogenicity for humans compared with other influenza viruses. However, the incidence rises caused by the influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 since 2009 are regular and are not something special or unforeseen.
The greatest danger is the flu for people with reduced immunity, the elderly and people with chronic diseases. It was found that among the dead from the flu and its complications are no persons vaccinated against influenza.
In this regard, appeared in the media with reference to the State Organization "Institute of Influenza" Russian Ministry of Health information about the high incidence of influenza in the current epidemic season is associated with mutations in the genome of circulating virus A (H1N1) pdm09, to inform you that this information does not correspond to reality.
According to a preliminary molecular genetic analysis of circulating influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 antigenic properties and nucleotide sequences correspond to the vaccine strain A / California / 7/09. The genomes examined to date strains indeed several mutations have been identified, but they are not associated with high pathogenicity, and are probably the result of conventional genetic drift.
The genome studied to date strains indeed found several mutations, but they are not associated with high pathogenicity, and are due to normal genetic drift, which is of interest only to specialists, virologists.
FGBI "Influenza Research Institute" Russian Ministry of Health reminds you of the need for timely treatment to the doctor in the case of the first symptoms of the disease.