WHO wants to know more about "pneumonia clusters" in children in China

WHO wants to know more about “pneumonia clusters” in children in China

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WHO wants to know more about "pneumonia clusters" in children in China



WHO wants to know more about “pneumonia clusters” in children in China.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has requested additional information from China regarding “clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia” reportedly spreading among children in the northern part of the country.

According to reports from non-state media, pediatric hospitals in various regions are grappling with an influx of sick children. Chinese authorities attribute the surge in flu-like illnesses this winter to the relaxation of Covid measures.

The WHO is encouraging people in China to implement measures to reduce transmission.

In a statement, the UN health agency expressed a need for more information on reports from both media sources and ProMed, a global outbreak surveillance system, about “clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia in children in northern China.”

Following the release of the WHO statement, the state-run Xinhua news agency published an article on Thursday quoting officials from the National Health Commission, stating that they are closely monitoring the diagnosis and care of children with respiratory illnesses.

While mentions of China and an increase in infections may evoke memories of the coronavirus pandemic, it is standard practice for the WHO to seek clarity. However, until Beijing responds, the reasons behind this spike in infections remain uncertain.

The WHO also says that since October, there has been a “increase in influenza-like illness” in northern China compared to the same time last year, 2015, and 2016.

China’s National Health Commission said last week that there had been an increase in a number of respiratory diseases across the country. These included influenza, COVID, mycoplasma pneumoniae (a common bacterial illness that affects young children), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The rise was blamed on the lifting of Covid limits by officials.

Once the pandemic bans were lifted, there were also big jumps in flu-like illnesses in other countries, like the US and the UK.

Prof. Francois Balloux of the University College London Genetics Institute said, “China is probably going through a big wave of childhood respiratory infections right now because this is the first winter after their long lockdown. This must have greatly reduced the circulation of respiratory bugs, which means that kids are less protected against endemic bugs.”

The WHO says it’s not clear if the reported pneumonia outbreak and the overall rise in lung infections in Beijing are connected. They have officially asked for more information.

It told people in China to do simple things to protect themselves, like getting vaccinated, mask-wearing, and washing their hands.

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