Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, former Chief State Sanitary Physician of the Russian Federation Gennady Onishchenko
Photo: Ivan MAKEEV
… – Gennady Grigorievich, the information has just arrived: the World Health Organization (WHO) warns about the risk of cholera infection for more than a billion people in the world. New outbreaks have been registered during the last week in three countries. And now the number of states where cholera has been found reaches 22. How protected are we from this disease? How to save yourself from that?
– If we remember that the recently disappeared 20th century gave us 7 cholera pandemics. The last one in our country ended in 1994…
– So close – in time – right?
– … in Dagestan.
– Can it happen again?
Cholera is a disease that is transmitted in an elemental way. That is, dirty water, unwashed dishes, poor hygiene.
– But we no longer had it in Russia?
– First of all, she was in Syria. There, at different times, tens of thousands of people fell ill.
The outbreak ended on January 10 when the WHO announced it.
– This year?
But after that, the war that is still going on there was added to a catastrophic earthquake that took millions of people out of normal life.
And cholera is the disease that accompanies floods, earthquakes, wars, when many people are deprived of the opportunity to have basic services. For example, water of guaranteed quality, availability of sanitary facilities, disposal of human excrement, etc.
– We are interested, first of all, in our homeland. You said that in 1994 cholera was eradicated. And now she can’t arise?
– Maybe, of course.
– And what do we need to do?
– You do not have to do anything.
– Now? But still…
– The peak incidence of cholera is July, August, September. It has a seasonal character. For obvious reasons.
– That is?
– Because at this time people eat a lot of fruits, vegetables…
– We are waiting until July – August, right?
– No! Now it is necessary to analyze all these alarmist, not entirely scientifically substantiated statements, draw up plans, determine the scale of possible hospitalization – where?
By the way, in Moscow, sometime in the middle of the year, an ultra-modern department will be put into operation on the basis of the 1st Hospital for Infectious Diseases, which until recently was the most important, but at the same time had a very material base. poor.
We also need to plan hospital wards for the so-called carriers of this disease, in case there are manifestations of cholera.
Also, to train primary care physicians, ie therapists, infectious disease specialists.
And today we have to think about what antibiotics we have and if we have them, and create a reserve of these drugs, which we have always done.
– And how, in general, she is treated – do not say?
– Today cholera is treated very easily. Why does a person die of cholera? He’s getting dehydrated. All the fluid drains out of him and he dies of dehydration. The blood thickens and the person simply, relatively speaking, doesn’t become viable.
So rehydration drugs are saline solutions that, for example, were given intravenously to these people in Dagestan and they recovered very quickly.
Therefore, everything must be prepared, resumed, and then nothing will happen.
– And the most vulnerable – in the sense of cholera – what regions do we have?
– This is our south, if you remember where we had cholera in 1970? I was in Astrakhan, there was cholera in Odessa. Odessa is also our city, and soon it will be.
So all this is not scary, but rather very serious. We need to prepare.
– Thank you so much.