Saturday, 20 July 2024
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ChinaHealth and MedicalKids

Will China’s Child Pneumonia Spread Abroad?

  • Mycoplasma pneumonia is a bacteria that usually causes a mild infection with symptoms similar to the common cold.
  • Breathing syncytial virus reasons slight, cold-like symptoms.
  • Fever, also known as influenza, is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs that are part of the respiratory system.

Doctors have been warning for weeks that a common bacterial infection could cause a spike in “walking pneumonia” cases.

In response to WHO’s request for more data, Chinese health officials attributed the increase in outpatient visits and hospitalizations to outbreaks of Mycoplasma pneumonia, RSV, adenovirus, and influenza.

Mycoplasma pneumonia

Mycoplasma pneumonia rarely requires hospitalization, but sometimes the cough can last for weeks and younger children with nascent immune systems are at risk of developing pneumonia.

Most people recover from the infection on their own or take medications to relieve symptoms. But greater severe sickness commonly calls for a route of antibiotics.This is important because China has the world’s highest incidence of Mycoplasma pneumonia, which is resistant to a class of antibiotics called macrolides.

China appears to be the only country facing a major mycoplasma outbreak, while the US and much of Europe struggle with influenza and RSV. A study shows that Mycoplasma in China has been suppressed by anti-covid[A1]  measures for nearly two years.

While Chinese health officials have said the rise in cases is earlier than usual, they have also pointed out that other countries have experienced similar surges in respiratory illnesses since emerging from pandemic restrictions.

The WHO said it is not unusual for winter to bring respiratory illnesses, although disease rates are unusually high for this time of year.

The group advised people to take basic precautions to reduce their risk — wear masks, stay home if sick, wash hands regularly — and said no travel restrictions were necessary based on the current situation.

Mycoplasma is a well-known and common pathogen that can cause new outbreaks every few years. Other viruses are also spreading, especially RSV, meaning countries around the world are likely to see different pathogens this winter.


 [A1]

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