18 Dec 2023 16:27

Rospotrebnadzor head denies 'new pandemic' associated with mycoplasma infection in Russia

MOSCOW. Dec 18 (Interfax) - There is no "new pandemic" associated with mycoplasma infection in Russia, the head of Russia's consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, Anna Popova, said.

No new mutations have been found in previously known mycoplasma strains, she said.

"Of course, this is not a new pandemic. These are aftershocks from the pandemic we had, as it harmed our immunity [...] There is nothing new, no new mutations in the mycoplasma strains we know; hemophilic infection, pneumococci, all these things remain as they were. There have been no changes; the micro-organisms that are circulating now have no [new] properties," Popova said on Komsomolskaya Pravda radio on Monday.

The number of outbreaks of mycoplasma pneumonia has decreased due to increased control over them, she said.

"This is a seasonal situation, it occurs practically every year," Popova said, noting that it is due to the cold season, an insufficiently high air temperature in schools and kindergartens, and also "overcrowding" among children.

"It's not that some kind of single agent is causing something; instead lots of bacteria break through a weakened immune system, various bacteria that can cause pneumonia," Popova said.

Practically every person who has pneumonia is now hospitalized, "which never happened before the coronavirus pandemic," she said.

"We have now somewhat changed treatment tactics, and the majority of diagnoses are pneumonia. Doctors are trying to treat people in hospitals, there are enough beds," she said.

Rospotrebnadzor previously said that some cases of mycoplasma infection had been registered in Russia amid an increase in cases of respiratory illnesses in some foreign countries.

Popova said on December 7 that there was no risk of the spread of mass infection, and no tough restrictions were needed.