Date: Mon 18 Jun 2018 8:53 UTC+3
Source: Tass Russian News Agency [edited]
<http://tass.com/society/1009933>

Russia's federal service for the oversight of consumer rights protection, Rospotrebnadzor, has called on the Russians to get vaccination for measles before trips abroad, as the disease is spearing in a number of regions of the world.

"Rospotrebnadzor calls public attention to the reports [on the spread of measles] and notes separately that vaccination offers the only reliable preventive protection against measles," the agency said in a warning at its website. "Therefore we make a recommendation to the people who have not been vaccinated and have not been down with measles previously to get vaccination at least 14 days before the scheduled trip," the report said.

Rospotrebnadzor quoted information from the World Health Organization, which pointed out a notable increase in the incidence of measles in 28 South American countries -- Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, and also in the US and Canada.

"The Center for Public Health at the Healthcare Ministry of Ukraine points out the level of incidence of measles in Ukraine in 2017 exceeded the figures for 2016 by a factor of 70," the report said. "In all, as many as 20 553 cases of measles have been registered there since the beginning of this year, including 8331 cases among adults and 12 222 cases among children."

"Eleven people have died from complications caused by the disease," the agency said.

As the root-cause of the situation, it pointed out the low levels of vaccination among the rank-and-file people.
============================
[HealthMap/ProMED-mail map of Russia:
<http://healthmap.org/promed/p/98>.]
******************************
Russia: FIFA World cup, PAHO/WHO
Date: Fri 1 Jun 2018
Source: PAHO/WHO [edited]
<https://www.paho.org/hq/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14394>

The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has recommended that all those travelling to the 2018 FIFA World Cup ensure that they're up-to-date with all their vaccinations, including the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (also known as MMR). The 2018 World Cup will be hosted this year by Russia between 14 Jun and 15 Jul.

The increase in international travel and the mass movement of people during events such as the World Cup increases the risk of transmission of diseases. It also increases the likelihood of travellers returning to their countries with diseases such as measles, which is highly contagious and can have grave consequences on the health of unvaccinated populations.
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2018 00:54:01 +0200

Moscow, April 26, 2018 (AFP) - Hundreds of commercial and cultural sites in Russia fall below fire safety standards, authorities said Thursday following checks after a fire in Siberia killed more than 60 people in March.   Local prosecutors were ordered to check whether safety regulations were being followed in shopping malls, cultural and children's entertainment sites across Russia after a shopping centre fire in Kemerovo left at least 64 people dead, including 41 children.

In one region alone, the eastern island of Sakhalin, 93 percent of the 230 sites checked did not comply with fire safety instructions, the local prosecutor's office said in a statement Thursday.   Stairs and fire exits are often congested, fire alarms and automatic water sprinklers do not work and the walls are covered with highly flammable materials, the statement said, adding that 156 lawsuits have been launched.

In Volgograd in western Russia, the Sports Palace which holds 2,500 spectators was closed due to the lack of an automatic water sprinkler system and emergency exits that are difficult to access, the Tass press agency quoted the local prosecutor's office as saying.   Fire safety rules are often violated in Russia due to corruption as building permits are given by officials in exchange for bribes.
Date: Thu 22 Mar 2018
Source: Yahoo New [edited]
<https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/39587369/50-children-fall-ill-from-russian-landfill-gas/>

Doctors in a Russian town treated dozens of children complaining of dizziness and nausea on [Wed 21 Mar 2018] because of noxious fumes coming from a local dump, authorities said.  Residents of Volokolamsk, some 120 km [approx. 75 mi] west of the Russian capital, have long complained about high levels of hydrogen sulfide and nitric oxide from the Yadrovo landfill. Riot police were called in this month to disperse a protest calling for the closure of the site. Doctors treated 50 children from different schools in the town, the regional authorities said in a statement, adding that the main complaints were nausea and dizziness.

Andrei Vorobyov, the governor of the Moscow region, said plans were in place to send the affected children out of the area.  "The situation is getting worse and worse with each passing day... because of the gases coming from the landfill," town mayor Pyotr Lazarev told Business FM radio. Around 200 people had gathered outside the Volokolamsk hospital [Wed 21 Mar 2018], an AFP journalist said.  One person was holding a sign reading: "We are suffocating! We so want to live, you know."  "Don't kill our kids," another placard read.

Anna Luzova, 10, said she had worn a medical mask to school on [Wed 21 Mar 2018] because the smell outside was so strong. "It smelled like something had exploded. I almost couldn't breathe. Sometimes, almost every night, we wake up from that smell. What will it be like in summer? I don't know how we can live like this," she told AFP.  "It's been impossible to breathe here for 2 months. Our children are suffering from nausea and hypertension," Anna Grapeh, a 50-year-old resident said.

Governor Vorobyov visited the landfill site in the afternoon, his press service said. He then arrived at the Volokolamsk hospital, where residents shouted "Shame!" and threw snowballs at him, an AFP journalist saw.  Three buses of riot police were also at the scene. "This is unfortunately not the first story of its kind. This is a very complicated situation," Vorobyov said. He added that a new facility would be built which would not emit gases.

The Yadrovo landfill should be covered with earth within the next few days, authorities said. The ministry for emergency situations said the landfill was the source of "pollution in the air" in Volokolamsk and the surrounding area. But following an air quality test, it said "no threat to residents of the town had been detected".

On social media, several people complained of an unpleasant smell in the town and said their children were forced to leave school earlier than usual because they felt ill.  [Byline: Maxime Popov]
=====================
[Hydrogen sulfide has many synonyms including dihydrogen sulfide, sulfur hydride, sulfurated hydrogen, hydrosulfuric acid, "sewer gas," "swamp gas," hepatic acid, sour gas, and "stink damp."

Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless, highly flammable and explosive gas produced naturally by decaying organic matter and by certain industrial processes. Hydrogen sulfide has a characteristic rotten-egg odor.

Hydrogen sulfide is well absorbed through the lungs; cutaneous absorption is minimal. Exposure by any route can cause systemic effects.

Inhalation is the major route of hydrogen sulfide exposure. The gas is rapidly absorbed by the lungs. The odor threshold (0.5 ppb) is much lower than the OSHA ceiling (20 ppm). However, although its strong odor is readily identified, olfactory fatigue occurs at high concentrations and at continuous low concentrations. For this reason, odor is not a reliable indicator of hydrogen sulfide's presence and may not provide adequate warning of hazardous concentrations. Hydrogen sulfide is slightly heavier than air and may accumulate in enclosed, poorly ventilated, and low-lying areas.

Children exposed to the same levels of hydrogen sulfide as adults may receive larger doses because they have greater lung surface area/body weight ratios and increased minute volumes/weight ratios. In addition, they may be exposed to higher levels than adults in the same location because of their short stature and the higher levels of hydrogen sulfide found nearer to the ground. Children may be more vulnerable to corrosive agents than adults because of the relatively smaller diameter of their airways.

It may also cause skin and eye irritation.

Hydrogen sulfide is produced naturally by decaying organic matter and is released from sewage sludge, liquid manure, sulfur hot springs, and natural gas. It is a by-product of many industrial processes including petroleum refining, tanning, mining, wood-pulp processing, rayon manufacturing, sugar-beet processing, and hot-asphalt paving. Hydrogen sulfide is used to produce elemental sulfur, sulfuric acid, and heavy water for nuclear reactors.

We are not told about contents of the land fill but the situation is very detrimental to health and safety. One wonders if there is industrial waste as well as usual household waste there. Covering up the land fill may solve the problem for a time, but any leaks in the covering earth when hard rains come may allow the situation to return, and therefore requires continued monitoring. Furthermore, if another land fill is started in the area, it is likely the same situation could re-occur.

Portions of this comment were extracted from:
<https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/mmg/mmg.asp?id=385&tid=67> - ProMED Mod.TG]

[HealthMap/ProMED-mail map:
Russia: <http://healthmap.org/promed/p/98>]
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2018 17:28:29 +0100
By Maxime POPOV

Volokolamsk, Russia, March 21, 2018 (AFP) - Doctors in a Russian town treated dozens of children complaining of dizziness and nausea on Wednesday because of noxious fumes coming from a local dump, authorities said.    Residents of Volokolamsk, some 120 kilometres (75 miles) west of the Russian capital, have long complained about high levels of hydrogen sulphide and nitric oxide from the Yadrovo landfill.    Riot police were called in this month to disperse a protest calling for the closure of the site.

Doctors treated 50 children from different schools in the town, the regional authorities said in a statement, adding that the main complaints were
nausea and dizziness.   Andrei Vorobyov, the governor of the Moscow region, said plans were in place to send the affected children out of the area.    "The situation is getting worse and worse with each passing day... because of the gases coming from the landfill," town mayor Pyotr Lazarev told Business FM radio.    Around 200 people had gathered outside the Volokolamsk hospital Wednesday, an AFP journalist said.   One person was holding a sign reading: "We are suffocating! We so want to live, you know."   "Don't kill our kids," another placard read.

Anna Luzova, 10, said she had worn a medical mask to school on Wednesday because the smell outside was so strong.   "It smelled like something had exploded. I almost couldn't breathe. Sometimes, almost every night, we wake up from that smell. What will it be like in summer? I don't know how we can live like this," she told AFP.      "It's been impossible to breathe here for two months. Our children are suffering from nausea and hypertension," Anna Grapeh, a 50-year-old resident said.   Governor Vorobyov visited the landfill site in the afternoon, his press service said.   He then arrived at the Volokolamsk hospital, where residents shouted "Shame!" and threw snowballs at him, an AFP journalist saw.    Three buses of riot police were also at the scene.

"This is unfortunately not the first story of its kind. This is a very complicated situation," Vorobyov said.   He added that a new facility would be built which would not emit gases.    The Yadrovo landfill should be covered with earth within the next few days, authorities said.   The ministry for emergency situations said the landfill was the source of "pollution in the air" in Volokolamsk and the surrounding area.    But following an air quality test, it said "no threat to residents of the town had been detected".    On social media, several people complained of an unpleasant smell in the town and said their children were forced to leave school earlier than usual because they felt ill.
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2017 21:20:24 +0100
By Marina KORENEVA

Saint Petersburg, Dec 27, 2017 (AFP) - A homemade bomb blast at a supermarket in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg injured 10 people Wednesday, officials said, sparking a probe into attempted murder.   "According to preliminary information, an explosion of an unidentified object occurred in a store," a spokeswoman for Russia's Investigative Committee, Svetlana Petrenko, said in a statement.    The blast was caused by a "homemade explosive device with the power equivalent to 200 grammes of TNT filled with lethal fragments," she said.   "The investigation is looking at all possible causes of what happened," she said, adding that a probe for attempted murder had been launched.

The incident comes several months after Russia's second city was rocked with a metro bombing in April which killed 16 people and amid concern that hundreds of Russian citizens who travelled to fight alongside jihadists groups abroad could pose a mounting security challenge back home.   "Ten people have been hospitalised, their lives are not in danger," the head of the Saint Petersburg investigative unit Alexander Klaus told Russian
news agencies.

An emergencies ministry representative told AFP that one of the injured was in serious condition.   An AFP correspondent at the scene observed first responders and police as well as a car belonging the Federal Security Service (FSB), which investigates acts of terror.   The building containing the supermarket did not appear to have sustained serious damage.   Police have cordoned off the area while the city's transportation authorities briefly rerouted public transport in the neighbourhood.

- Security boosted -
Passerby Galina Gustova, 58, observed the scene with horror.    "How terrible! And this happens as people are shopping ahead of the holidays," she said. "It's a good thing nobody died."   The blast came ahead of New Year's celebrations as well as Russian Orthodox Christmas, which falls on January 7.   "I often buy groceries here, I wanted to go in but everything is blocked," said another local, 20-year-old Viktoria Smirnova.   "I'm a doctor, I heard on the news that there was an explosion. I live nearby and thought I could be useful," another bystander, 50-year-old Marina Bulanova, told AFP.

Sources told Russian agencies that the explosive device had been placed in a storage locker.   "About 6:30 pm there was the sound of a blast. As a result, several people have been injured," the Saint Petersburg police said.   "There is no fire. All shoppers have been evacuated," an emergencies ministry representative told Interfax.

Witness Artur Yeritsyan told TASS news agency that he heard the blast and saw smoke in the shop, but that there were not a lot of customers at the time, with some victims being taken away by ambulances.   Saint Petersburg, which is set to host World Cup matches next year, is still reeling from the deadly metro bombing in April that killed 16 and wounded dozens.

That bombing was claimed by a group linked to Al-Qaeda which said it was a message to countries engaged in war with Muslims.   In July, the FSB said it had detained seven people who were preparing "acts of terror" in Saint Petersburg, particularly its railway system and major public gathering places.   And this month Russian security services said they had dismantled an Islamic State group cell apparently preparing attacks in the city.   FSB director Alexandra Bortnikov said earlier in December that around 4,500 Russian citizens had travelled abroad to participate in "terrorist" groups.
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