27 Dec 2018 10:08

Georgian Health Ministry calls allegations of Russians getting sick in Georgia because of Lugar lab politically motivated

TBILISI. Dec 27 (Interfax) - The Georgian Health Ministry has denied the assumption of Rospotrebnadzor head Anna Popova that the acute intestinal infection contracted by a group of Russian schoolchildren in Georgia in summer 2018 might be related to the activity of the Lugar laboratory that allegedly artificially modifies viruses under the United States' control.

"Popova's statement regarding the sickness of Russian schoolchildren who visited Georgia is unprofessional and based on politically motivated allegations," the Georgian Health Ministry's National Center for Disease Control and Public Health said on Wednesday.

According to the Center, 31 schoolchildren from St. Petersburg visited Georgia, including the Ureki and Mestia resort towns, on July 11-26, and six of them suffered an acute intestinal infection. It was not some unknown virus, "but the toxic coliform bacteria that has been well known in medicine for decades," it said.

Three patients developed renal insufficiency; all received proper medical attendance on time, the Center said.

The diplomats representing Russia's interests thanked Georgian doctors for giving professional aid to the children, it said.

The Georgian doctors stayed in touch with the children's parents and Russian colleagues even after the children returned to St. Petersburg.

"Full information about the tests and treatment was shared with Russia in the middle of September via the Swiss embassy in Georgia," the Center said.

"Complications of the severe illness could have been fatal if not for the timely, professional and high-tech diagnostics (including one provided by the Lugar lab) and treatment," it said.

It was reported earlier that Rospotrebnadzor was concerned about the activity of bio-labs in the post-Soviet countries.