We've been watching Russia's flu epidemic for several weeks, including epidemiological reports suggesting that the H1N1pdm09 virus responsible for the bulk of the misery has evolved into a new subgroup (see WHO Risk Assessment - Seasonal Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09).
We should get the latest (Epi Week 6) update from the WHO National Influenza Centre Of Russia in the next day or so.
Minzdrav, the Russian Ministry of Health, has been largely silent regarding their current flu outbreak, but Rospotrebnadzor - the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing - has provided weekly updates on the societal impact of the epidemic.
Flu activity has been reported to have peaked in some regions, but today's announcement from Rospotrebnadzor describes the epidemic as `still rising', and they report 11,470 schools, 2,298 kindergartens, 578 colleges,72 universities completely closed due to the epidemic.By comparison, last week the headlines reported The flu epidemic in Russia: in quarantine closed 9,000 schools, making this week's closures a roughly 25% increase over last week.
The closing of schools in Russia during severe flu seasons is not uncommon, and every winter we see reports of hundreds - sometimes even a few thousand - schools shuttered to reduce the community spread of the virus.This year, however, the number of school closings seems unusually high - even for Russia - and many schools have remained closed for as long as three weeks. The number of schools closed is a pretty good indicator of flu activity, and so we'll continue to watch this metric for signs of improvement.
This from Rospotrebnadzor:
On the epidemic situation of the incidence of influenza and acute respiratory viral infections in the Russian Federation for the 5 week 2016
02.10.2016 Mr.February 10, 2015 in Rospotrebnadzor held a conference "On organization of preventive and anti-epidemic measures in the Russian Federation in the period of epidemic rise of influenza and SARS." The meeting was attended by representatives of executive authorities of the Russian Federation, Head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-being on the subjects of the Russian Federation, on Rail Transport, heads of executive bodies of subjects of the Russian Federation in the field of public health protection, enforcement authorities the executive authorities of subjects of the Russian Federation, engaged in public administration in the field of education, the chief doctors of the Federal budget and health care institutions - hygiene and epidemiology centers in the Russian Federation.
At the 5 week (1-7 February 2016) in the Russian Federation continues to rise in epidemic influenza and SARS, weekly epidemic threshold exceeded by the total population registered in the 68-subjects of the Russian Federation.
Excess epidporoga the central city without exceeding epidporoga on the subject reported in 4 cities: Krasnodar, Penza, Irkutsk, Vladivostok.
Among children younger than 2 years of excess weekly incidence thresholds noted in 50 regions of Russia among children 3-6 years - in 63-s of the Russian Federation, 7-14 years - in 44 subjects. Among people older than 15 years exceeded the weekly incidence thresholds noted in 64 subjects of the Russian Federation.
In a number of subjects there is a tendency to reduce the incidence.
According to the monitoring data in the circulating respiratory viruses structure is dominated by influenza viruses A (H1N1) 2009.
In week 5, taking into account the incidence of pre-school children and pupils were completely closed 11,470 schools, 2,298 kindergartens, 578 colleges, 72 university.
Partially closed schools and kindergartens 8924 and 8411 class groups.
Fully closed schools (extraordinary holidays) in Moscow, Oryol, Leningrad, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk and Omsk regions.
Kindergartens are completely closed in the Leningrad region.
The situation is under the control of Rospotrebnadzor.