Published: February 8, 2012 (Issue # 1694)
ST. PETERSBURG (SPT) — St. Petersburg is facing a measles outbreak, with almost 90 cases having been registered in the city by Tuesday afternoon, RIA-Novosti reported.
The majority of those affected are children. Out of the 87 reported cases, 67 are children under 14 years old.
Cases have been registered in 10 city districts, primarily in the Krasnoselsky and Kirovsky districts. At least 92 percent of those infected had not been vaccinated against measles, RIA-Novosti reported.
The measles outbreak began in Children’s Hospital #1. The first reported case was a 15-year-old boy hospitalized in mid-January with a suspected case of viral pneumonia, which later turned out to be measles.
The city’s Health Committee has given the order to vaccinate all unvaccinated medical personnel and has asked hospital pediatricians to raise awareness among parents about how important it is for children to get the vaccine.
In Russia, most infants are first vaccinated when they turn one year old, and get a booster at age six.
Finns Admit Mistake
ST. PETERSBURG (SPT) — Finnish ombudsman Jussi Pajuoja has acknowledged that Finnish authorities acted illegally when they took Russian citizen Inga Rantala’s son Robert into care, Interfax reported.
Rantala’s son was taken from her after he told people at school that his mother spanked him.
Social services in the Finnish town of Turku removed Robert from his family and placed him in a shelter. They also stripped his mother and Finnish father Veli-Pekka Rantala of their parental rights.
Social services cited conditions in the family as being “a danger to the child.”
Following this, Robert’s parents left for St. Petersburg with the boy and now live in the city. However, in December of last year the Finnish Prosecutor demanded that Russia extradite the boy’s mother to attend a court hearing for allegedly beating her son.
Pajuoja said he believes that the situation with the child is very complicated and that his being taken from his family was unnecessary and against the boy’s interests, as well as a violation of Finnish law, Interfax reported.