MOSCOW — The Moscow district court ordered 32,660 unvaccinated over-60s to stay home from work and school for four months from Feb. 15 and seek vaccination or “another means of protection,” the Russian Health Ministry said.
The decision follows a widely publicized outbreak of the life-threatening respiratory virus last week in the nation’s capital and another in the Yamal peninsula in the north. No deaths have been reported from either outbreak.
The order includes health and education facilities, prisons, cultural facilities, museums, farms and street vendors. The court order comes after Moscow police last week summoned health officials to assist in issuing the instructions on a vaccinate or stay home from work guidelines.
Health officials in Russia have linked the new outbreak to the latest edition of a vaccine for the fever-causing Marburg virus, which the government first used to vaccinate Russians against polio in 2003. In July, in response to a sudden spike in illnesses, Russian authorities turned to the Marburg vaccine, long used as a vaccination against influenza but which remains out of general use in Russia.
In Washington state, a man who died in November after contracting Marburg and traveling to Moscow was the first Marburg-infected person known to have died in the United States since 2003. He is among nine cases of Marburg in the Seattle area reported since last summer.
The latest epidemiological report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, released Tuesday, found that five of the nine U.S. cases were vaccinated against Marburg and showed no signs of Marburg antibodies. The report said the men became infected with Marburg as a result of Marburg transmission, while others were infected after having been exposed to Marburg.