30 million Russians catch cold, flu annually - chief doctor

21 January 2013 13:05 (UTC+04:00)

Some 30 million people in Russia, which is about 21 percent of the country's 143 million population, annually catch upper respiratory infections (URI) and flu, Russia's chief sanitary doctor Gennady Onishchenko said, RIA Novosti reported.

"Up to 30 million annually come down with URIs and influenza each year in Russia," Onishchenko said Sunday.

"These diseases cause the maximum damage to the population," he said on Ekho Moskvy radio.

He added that flu remains the most dangerous virus.