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Meningitis Outbreak in Rostov Kindergarten, 1 Child Dead

One child has died and nearly 80 others have been affected by an outbreak of acute respiratory infection, in some cases complicated by meningitis, in Rostov-on-Don.

Twenty-eight children from the Teremok kindergarten are currently in hospital, 11 with symptoms of pneumonia and nine with meningitis. One child died yesterday despite receiving medical treatment, ITAR-TASS reported Thursday.

A group of specialists from the Research and Development Institute for Childhood Infections will today fly to Rostov-on-Don, about 1,000 kilometers south of Moscow, to assist local pediatricians who are treating the children.

"All of the children have been examined by specialists from the Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Medical University and bacteriological and virological blood tests have been carried out," the regional Health Ministry said, adding that there is no meningitis epidemic in the region.

The kindergarten has been closed and 34 preschoolers being kept at home under constant observation of pediatricians, ITAR-TASS reported.

Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova has commissioned Russia's chief pediatrician for infectious diseases Yuri Lobzin to provide assistance to regional specialists, said the ministry's press service.

The Investigative Committee in the Rostov region has opened a criminal case against the head of the kindergarten under charges of negligence.

The virus is likely to have come from a clothing market where mostly immigrants from Vietnam, China and other Asian countries work. The market is located in the Pervomai district, where the kindergarten is also based.

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