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Flu epidemic kills 20 in Russia’s second largest city

January 25, 15:45 UTC+3 ST PETERSBURG
The Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights announced a flu epidemic in St Petersburg on January 22
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© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

ST PETERSBURG, January 25. /TASS/. The death toll from the flu epidemic in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg has reached 20, a local health official said on Monday.

"The number of flu lethal cases was 15 on Friday and at least five more deaths were registered over the weekend," said Tatiana Zasukhina, a deputy head of the city’s health committee.

The Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights announced a flu epidemic in St Petersburg on January 22.

"Between January 11 and January 17, 2016, influenza and other acute respiratory diseases have exceeded the epidemic threshold by 30% for the entire population," the service said in a statement.

According to the health committee, some 11,000-12,000 people get infected with flu every day in St. Petersburg and at least 7,000 of them are children.

"We are in the epidemic status now," Zasukhina said. "If the things follow the classic scenario of the flu epidemic, this week and the next one will be the hardest. Then the recession may be expected."

However, the situation may follow a different scenario because of swine flu (virus A/H1N1).

All hospitals in the city have prolonged working hours, Zasukhina said. Students of medical universities will be helping doctors.

"We are expecting some 200 students to assist doctors today," she said.

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