VORONEZH, June 26 (Itar-Tass) - Five children diagnosed with meningitis have been hospitalized in Voronezh in central Russia, regional Chief epidemiologist Olga Dudnikova told Itar-Tass on Wednesday. The sick children are from 3 to 14 years old. Three of them have tested positive to meningitis as a result of laboratory tests. The children are in condition of medium seriousness; there is no threat to their lives.
Meningitis cases have been annually reported in the Voronezh region, Dudnikova said. The worst situation was twelve years ago when the number of meningitis cases in the region rose to hundreds, she said. Nonetheless, the threat of the infection should cause no panic, Dudnikova warned.
The outbreaks of the virus infection which causes serous meningitis have been registered in different Russian regions. Childen have proved most vulnerable to the infection. The city of Rostov-on-Don, where 185 meningitis cases among children have been reported since June 3 until June 24, was the first hit by the virus. The serous meningitis has been confirmed in 55 cases, including one lethal case.
Afterwards, meningitis cases were reported in Astrakhan in the south of Russia, where four children have been hospitalized since June 21. Then, the infection was diagnosed in the Lipetsk region; it spread from the city of Yelets in the Lipetsk region. The number of patients with the symptoms of serous meningitis, who were hospitalized in Yelets and Lipetsk, rose to 170.
On Wednesday, the Moscow Health Service department has confirmed that three children have been diagnosed with meningitis and hospitalized. The children have recently returned to Moscow from abroad, it said.