Chinese hospitals are reportedly inundated with sick children due to a suspected outbreak of pneumonia, as per reports.
The information came to light via ProMed, a comprehensive surveillance system that tracks global human and animal disease outbreaks. This week, ProMed issued a notification about an epidemic of 'undiagnosed pneumonia' predominantly affecting children.
In December 2019, a ProMed alert had brought the Sars-Cov-2 virus, which later became a global pandemic, to the attention of doctors, scientists, and the World Health Organization. The children affected by the current outbreak exhibit symptoms of high fever and lung inflammation, but not coughing, which is typically associated with flu or respiratory virus diseases like RSV.
US epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding shared a video showing people in China wearing face masks in response to the pneumonia outbreak. Medical professionals speculate that mycoplasma pneumoniae, a common bacterial infection also known as 'walking pneumonia' that usually affects younger children, could be the cause.
While this pathogen generally causes mild infections, it can result in severe conditions requiring hospitalisation. Chinese hospitals have seen a surge in cases of undiagnosed pneumonia, particularly since the National Day holiday in early October. Despite the severity of the outbreak, no fatalities have been reported to date.
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