Why swine flu is so prevalent in Georgia

Why swine flu is so prevalent in Georgia

Amiran Gamkrelidze, head of the National Disease Control Center, ex-Minister of Health of Georgia, reported that death toll from the H1N1 virus (swine flu) in Georgia reached 22 people. Now the infection rate is 186 per 100,000. 22 is a huge figure that demands explanation. Something like that hasn't happened since the winter of 2009-2010. Not only people in the risk group, but also young people continue to die from swine flu, which broke out in December. Lessons in schools are held in half-empty classes. Situation in concert halls and cinemas is pretty much the same.

Meanwhile, expert community and journalists are trying to understand why this disease is so prevalent in Georgia, while nothing of sorts is happening in neighboring Azerbaijan. Chief epidemiologist of the Ministry of Health of Azerbaijan, Ibadullah Agayev, revealed that there are practically no cases of swine flu with such outcome in Azerbaijan.

Answering questions about reasons for such an obvious difference, representatives of the Georgian Ministry of Health hint that Azerbaijan and Georgia "use different method of diagnosing viral diseases." But even if it's true, mortality rate can't be hidden. 

Competent sources unanimously claim that situation in Georgia is incomparably more complicated than in other neighboring countries, including Azerbaijan and Russia. The reason, apparently, is that as a result of successful reforms in the health sector, Georgia has received dozens of clinics of the European level, but centralized disease control system has weakened. Right now the National Disease Control Center can't tale any preventive measures to affect current situation, in particular, there's no effective border control. Special services that control socially significant buildings from the point of view of compliance with epidemiological safety standards no longer exist in Georgia - they were abolished in the process of fight against "corrupt agencies that hinder rapid development of the country."

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Vestnik Kavkaza

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