Sunday, 3 Mar 2024

Mystery disease outbreak on train with hundreds of kids ill and girl dead

Hundreds of Ukrainian children have been rushed to hospital with unexplained symptoms and a girl has been killed after a mystery disease swept through a train in Russia.

The children, all from the occupied Luhansk region, were being transported 2,026 miles from a "holiday" in Tyumen, Siberia, to their home town when they started complaining of a high fever. Some 126 children and 11 adults were taken to an infectious diseases hospital in Saratov, local news outlet 72.ru reported.

Initially almost 60 children displayed signs of an acute respiratory infection while seven had a very high temperature. The train was brought to a standstill in the Penza region where doctors were called onto the train.

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Medics tried their best to save 12-year-old Veronika Yu who suffered particularly nasty symptoms. The youngster said she felt ill and had a temperature of 39C.

She was given medicine but promptly lost consciousness. Doctors were unable to help her and she eventually passed away.

"When the girl lost consciousness, the train manager was immediately informed about it, a REN TV source revealed. "An ambulance was called to the nearest station. However, doctors were unable to resuscitate the child, and the schoolgirl died."

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After the tragic death the train carried on to Balashov station in Saratov where ambulances met the vehicle. The children who first reported symptoms were taken in for treatment first, followed by the rest of the sprogs and the accompanying adults.

Health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said the incident has been brought under "special control". A 24-hour hotline has also been set up so parents can check in on their children.

The children had been at the Olympic Rebyachka camp in western Siberia, prompting doctors to check in on the children still staying there. A criminal investigation has been opened following the incident.

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Roman Busargin, governor of the Saratov region, said: "The doctors who accompanied the [children] and the ambulance team that arrived took all the necessary measures on site. Rospotrebnadzor promptly deployed a mobile laboratory on site. All children were examined by doctors.

Local reports suggest the outbreak may have been caused by Influenza A, but checks are ongoing.

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