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Respiratory diseases in China |  The increase in cases is worrying

Respiratory diseases in China | The increase in cases is worrying

The World Health Organization and experts around the world are closely monitoring the rise in respiratory disease cases among children in China. The expert helps us see things more clearly.


what is happening now?

“For about two months, there seems to be an increase in cases of respiratory infections, especially pneumonia, in China, and this seems to be a particular problem among children,” Dr. points out.s Donald Vinh, an infectious disease specialist and microbiologist at McGill University Health Centre.

The Chinese authorities attributed this increase to the lifting of restrictions imposed due to Covid-19 and the spread of various pathogens, including the influenza virus. Mycoplasma pneumoniaeRespiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and SARS-CoV-2.

On Tuesday, cluster cases of undiagnosed pneumonia in children’s hospitals in Beijing, Liaoning and elsewhere in China were reported by the international society for infectious diseases ProMED.

This announcement caught the attention of international experts. Some expressed their concerns on social media, while others urged caution before drawing conclusions.

Do we have more details?

Faced with the limited information available, the World Health Organization formally called on China to provide more data on Wednesday. In response to his request, the World Health Organization met with Chinese health authorities and officials at Beijing Children’s Hospital on Thursday.

Data from China reveal an increase in pediatric consultations and hospitalizations for pneumonia Mycoplasma pneumoniae since May, and to respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus and influenza virus since October.

The World Health Organization said in a press release: “Some of these increases come earlier in the season than in the past, but they are not unexpected given the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, as has been the case in other countries.”

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Chinese authorities have not reported any new pathogens or unusual symptoms.

What Mycoplasma pneumoniae ?

“It’s a bacteria. It’s already a known pathogen. This leads to a fairly mild pneumonia,” says Dr.s Where is it? These bacteria are the cause of 50% of upper respiratory infections, the Government of Canada notes on its website.

On Thursday, at the Beijing Pediatric Institute Hospital, journalists from Agence France-Presse saw a crowd of parents and children. Among them, father Zhou Yidong carried his 4-year-old daughter on his shoulders. “My daughter suffers from pneumonia Mycoplasma pneumoniae. He explained that we were no longer sending him to nursery at the moment. “A lot of his teammates are tired of this now.”

Is it possible that this increase in cases is due solely to the respiratory virus season?

It is possible, Dr. answerss Where is it? “In the winter, we see an increase in respiratory infections here in Quebec, mainly due to COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus and an increase in influenza. So, it is not impossible that China will experience the same thing.”

How many children are infected with these respiratory diseases in China?

“Unfortunately, there is no data available,” says the doctor.s Where is it? Some data is circulated on the Internet. He added: “But these are assumptions, without scientific discussion.” He claims to have found no reliable scientific data.

What to do now ?

The World Health Organization recommends that people in China take steps to reduce their risk of respiratory illness, including vaccination against influenza and COVID-19. The organization also reminds you to keep your distance from sick people, stay home if you are sick, get tested and wash your hands regularly.

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The World Health Organization does not recommend specific measures for travelers to China and advises against any travel or trade restrictions.