New Meningitis Cases Prompt National Inquiry

Federal investigators on Wednesday announced that they would conduct an inquiry into the growing number of meningitis cases around Russia, as Moscow health officials said three city teenagers had been hospitalized and diagnosed with the illness.

Earlier this month, two children in the Rostov region contracted meningitis and died, while more than 30 children who attended a kindergarten in the southern Russian city were hospitalized after receiving the same diagnosis.

Following that outbreak, several cases appeared in neighboring regions, prompting concern from parents.

“Investigators will determine the circumstances of the outbreak of illness and the reasons and conditions contributing to the appearance and spread of meningitis among residents of various regions of Russia, in order to prevent more serious consequences,” the Investigative Committee said in a statement, according to Interfax.

On Wednesday, acting Moscow health department head Georgy Golukhov said three 14-year old children had been confirmed to have meningitis caused by enteroviral infection. But, he said, all three children were in satisfactory condition and had good prospects for making a full recovery, and he emphasized that the cases were not a sign of an epidemic.

The Moscow office of the Federal Consumer Protection Service also said there was no outbreak of meningitis among children in the capital.

Golukhov said the city's health services were in full control of the situation and stressed that the number of children hospitalized with meningitis corresponded to the seasonal norm.

He said the recovery of patients with meningitis normally took from two to three weeks. He added that meningitis infection was most common during the summer months and urged people to be attentive to personal hygiene to help prevent it.

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