“There is no epidemic”
Parental chats in Ingushetia and neighboring regions were disturbed by terrible news: supposedly in the republic there is an outbreak of poliomyelitis. “Informed” people wrote that the hospital was full of paralyzed children. Some called a not so frightening figure – seven children. Parents are worried that kindergarteners and schoolchildren became infected from newly vaccinated peers.
Poliomyelitis (infantile spinal paralysis) is an acute infectious disease caused by three types of poliomyelitis viruses. It affects the nervous system and leads to paralysis, as well as inflammatory changes in the intestinal mucosa and nasopharynx. The polio virus is very stable, it dies when boiled, under the influence of ultraviolet radiation and disinfectants.
On the evening of November 6, the Ministry of Health of Ingushetia admitted that there were several people in the republic with symptoms of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). Among other diseases, poliomyelitis can also cause it.
“The patients are isolated and are being treated in the infectious diseases departments of medical organizations of the republic,” the ministry assured.
The post of the department in the official telegram channel frightened the residents even more, since the infection was confirmed, and the cause remained unknown.
On November 7, Minister Magomedbashir Balayev spoke live on the official page of the department in VK. According to him, only three children in the whole republic were hospitalized with AFP syndrome.
“Hospital wards are not at all overcrowded, as some say,” he said. – Cases of AFP occur not only in our republic, but also in other subjects of the federation. Many write about the need for quarantine. But there is no epidemic in the republic. Getting hysterical is wrong. It is necessary to determine the ways of infection and methods. We need to find out what’s what, and act on the recommendations.
Physicians, according to him, follow the algorithm prescribed in such cases. All those who have been in contact with patients will be checked, blood samples will be taken and sent for examination. They must be observed for 21 days.
Vaccine is out of the question?
The vaccine can indeed become a source of infection, but only with a live virus. As explained chief epidemiologist neighboring region – Stavropol Territory – Lyubov Dmitrienkoa child under six years old is given three vaccinations with a “non-living” drug and two revaccinations with a “live” one.
“The unvaccinated can become infected from those vaccinated with a “live” vaccine. There is even a special concept of “vaccine-associated poliomyelitis”. The sanitary rules for the prevention of infectious and parasitic diseases provide for the separation of newly vaccinated with a live vaccine and unvaccinated children within 60 days, she said. – That is, if the mother refuses to vaccinate the child, he will have to be temporarily removed from the kindergarten or transferred to another group. Usually this situation causes a painful reaction of anti-vaxxers. They believe that the vaccinated should not go to the garden, and not their children, who have only rights and no duties.”
Lyubov Dmitrienko complained that not only in the republics of the North Caucasus, but also in the Stavropol Territory, there are many parents who refuse not only new, but also proven vaccines. According to her colleague, chief infectious disease specialist of the region Larisa Tkachenko, this is especially dangerous in a situation where a stream of refugees from Ukraine has flooded into the country. Russia is considered a polio-free country, but it is not known what will be brought from abroad.
According to Magomedbashir Balaev, a live vaccine is not used at all in Ingushetia, so it is beyond suspicion. As the doctors explain, the republic switched to inactivated drugs because many parents protested against vaccinations.
“They refuse not all, but those that often give side effects,” he clarified. regional representative of the human rights NGO “Patient Monitor” Ibragim Matiev. – Parents do not trust vaccines. Religion or tradition has nothing to do with it. Although there are those who turn to Islamic traditional medicine, try to give up chemistry and improve immunity. Perhaps one of these people rejects vaccinations. But in general, people understand that nothing but a vaccine will save you from polio.”
In his opinion, it would still be calmer if, until the source of infection was clarified, the children would sit in quarantine.
Note to parents:
Khadishat Nalgiyeva, head physician of the city children’s polyclinic in Nazran:
“If the child is vaccinated, there is no cause for concern. If not vaccinated, it is necessary to vaccinate according to an individual plan, which will be selected by the local pediatrician.
A sign of AFP – the child ceases to rely on one or less often two legs. When walking, he drags his leg, cannot lift the toe of the foot, or stops walking altogether. There is also a pain syndrome, which is sometimes confused with rheumatic lesions of the joints. Doctors suspect paralysis in the first place if there is no vaccination against polio. Then additional examinations are carried out to clarify the diagnosis already in the hospital.
The patient is hospitalized in the infectious diseases department, where he is treated and observed. Not all cases of AFP are associated with polio, there are other diseases in which it develops. The child should be examined by a pediatrician, neurologist, infectious disease specialist, if necessary, a rheumatologist and orthopedist. A consultation is held, and this is the only way a diagnosis is made.
There has been no poliomyelitis in Ingushetia in recent years.”