An acute respiratory infection is spreading rapidly in Turkmenbashi, Balkan Oblast, affecting mainly children and teenagers. The city’s hospitals are overcrowded, and doctors are prescribing home treatment for the bulk of the population. This was reported by Radio Azatlyk.
According to their information, most kindergarteners and schoolchildren are sick – they have flu symptoms. They complain of breathing difficulties, fever up to 39-40 degrees, cough, nausea, decreased appetite, and fatigue. However, medical workers cannot put the sick on in-patient treatment. The reason – a large flow of patients, because of which at this time in three city hospitals there are no places left.
“There are 200 beds in the infectious and intensive care units of these hospitals. Now even the corridors of the hospitals are crowded with children and their parents from morning to evening. Doctors mostly diagnose them with pneumonia,” a medical worker told Radio Azatlyk correspondents.
Unable to cope with the flow of patients, many are being treated at home. Mostly, doctors prescribe antiviral medicines to the sick, with the cheapest medicines costing 230 manats and some up to 700 manats. Those who cannot afford expensive medicines resort to the fight against the virus by fumigating with garmala and drinking ginger tea.
There are speculations among people in Turkmenistan that the disease may be a type of coronavirus. However, there is no official confirmation of the speculation. The Ashgabat Health Department has not commented on the situation to journalists.
The spread of respiratory diseases in Turkmenistan began in October. Then the authorities of the western region decided to disinfect and began to warn the population about the possibility of spreading respiratory disease similar to coronavirus. And in Turkmenbashi, an influenza and coronavirus vaccination campaign began in early November.
Reports of the spread of respiratory diseases in Turkmenistan and neighboring countries came amid reports of pockets of unknown pneumonia in China. Many schools in the north of the country have canceled classes because not only students but also teachers have fallen ill with pneumonia. To understand a more accurate picture of what is happening, the World Health Organisation has already requested from China all available information about pockets of undiagnosed pneumonia among children in the north of the country.
Meanwhile, the Turkmen authorities are silent about the outbreak of respiratory diseases, including pneumonia, in the country.