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Mycoplasma pneumonia, also known as " walking pneumonia " or " white lung pneumonia ," is a bacterial infection that primarily affects the respiratory system.
Causes and symptoms : Mycoplasma pneumonia is caused by the bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae , which is transmitted through droplets released when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms usually develop within two to three weeks of exposure and include: - Sore throat - Sneezing - Coughing - Rhinorrhea - Wheezing - Headache - Ear infection - Chest pain.
Treatment and Prevention : Although mycoplasma pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics, there is no vaccine for its prevention. The most effective way to protect yourself is to practice good hygiene , including washing your hands frequently and avoiding close contact with sick people.
Every day, at the Beijing Children's Hospital , there is a crowd of parents with their children in their arms waiting for a doctor to treat them. When they arrive at the Hospital they have to wait an average of 40 minutes just to get the ticket from the machine. and then wait for their turn.
With their number already in hand, they stared in astonishment at the screen monitor that indicated the number of people ahead of them before they were attended to, an average of 400 people ahead of them for consultation. This represents an average of 16 hours waiting. In the hallways and waiting rooms, many parents lie on the floor to sleep with their children. For any procedure, whether taking a ticket for an infusion, waiting for the consultation or paying for medications, the number of crowds is the same.
The scene is reminiscent of when hospitals collapsed during the first (and not very distant) great wave of covid , which did not reach China until the end of December 2022 and extended until the beginning of February 2023. The Asian power, after three For years tied to its policy of confinements, city blockades and daily PCR tests, it suddenly lifted all restrictions, causing unprecedented pressure on the health system.
Almost a year later, many hospitals are once again overflowing due to what the authorities have described as a "mixture of pathogens" , all of them old acquaintances who, according to the Chinese authorities, had been out of circulation in recent years due to the overprotection of the population - masks , physical distancing and long quarantines at home - during the pandemic.
Record number of children at Tianjin Children's Hospital
In Tianjin, a 30-minute train ride from Beijing, the children's hospital said Monday that it is caring for a record of more than 13,000 pediatric patients daily . If we go south, to the city of Dongguan, several primary schools have suspended classes, on the recommendation of the authorities, because in many classrooms more than a third of the students began to have strong flu symptoms. Many parents complain that they have had to spend a fortune on private hospitals because public centers are overcrowded.
The confinements during the pandemic prevented the circulation of seasonal viruses and this has meant that many people have not had the opportunity to develop immunity against these microorganisms, starting with very young children who are experiencing their first flu three years late , doctors explain. from the pediatric area of the Taiyanghua Hospital in Shanghai, who claim that in November they were able to receive 200% more visits than in the same period of the previous year.
At the Shanghai Hospital, the infusion room, like the one in Beijing, is packed and there are many children scattered throughout the hallways receiving intravenous medications. There are many cases of influenza , which is more serious in children under five years of age.
At Huasang General Hospital, in central Shanghai, the Emergency room is filling up these days with elderly people with severe flu and Covid. Some specialists are already saying that a strong second wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections is beginning, which is increasing incomes among the older population. The center's children's area is also receiving a large number of parents with children suffering from mycoplasma pneumonia, a common bacterial infection that usually affects the little ones.
Antibiotic-resistant bacterial pneumonia
Although this pneumonia is generally treated with antibiotics -macrolides- , an excessive dependence on these medications has led the pathogen to develop resistance ," explains Benjamin Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong, where they are also reporting an increase in these pneumonias in children. In the studies being carried out in Beijing, what is being seen is that the resistance rates of mycoplasma pneumonia to macrolides are between 70% and 90% . This resistance could be contributing to the high levels of hospitalization of this year.
A cocktail of factors behind the explosion of cases
Mi Feng, the ministry's spokesperson, said the recent clusters of respiratory infections are caused by an overlap of common viruses such as influenza, rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and adenovirus , as well as bacteria such as mycoplasma, which is causing the wave of "walking" pneumonia in children.
" Efforts should be made to implement effective epidemic prevention and control measures in key places with dense populations, such as schools, child care institutions and nursing homes," Mi said. "This includes minimizing staff movement and visits."
In the same appearance, Dr. Wang Huaqing, head of the immunization program at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), intervened, stating that mycoplasma infections were mainly observed among the age group of five to 14 years. , while the rest became ill mainly from different types and combinations of viruses.
Mycoplasma pneumonia, which mainly affects children and the most common symptoms are headache, sore throat, cough and fever .
But the international spotlight has not been on China until the WHO made its plea public after a report from ProMed , the outbreak surveillance network that first alerted the world about Covid, which cited "undiagnosed pneumonia." concentrated in the north of the Asian giant. This reminds us of that WHO statement of January 5, 2020 in which it mentioned a "pneumonia of unknown cause" in Wuhan.
Despite the media hype, the WHO made it clear from the beginning that these strange cases cited by ProMed - whose first source was an article in a Thai newspaper that talked about mysterious cases of pneumonia - could be associated with the same pneumonia outbreak reported by the Chinese authorities . Last Friday, Beijing responded to the WHO's request for information, noting that it had not detected any new pathogens and that the increase in respiratory diseases is partly due to the fact that it is the first winter since the lifting of Covid restrictions. 19.
What do we know about the childhood pneumonia outbreaks recorded in China?
Lower immunity, more marked in children, after the withdrawal of restrictions due to covid-19 could be the key. Added to this would be the circulation of winter pathogens.
Concern about health has re-established itself in China and, consequently, among world health authorities. The National Health Commission of the Asian giant, through its surveillance system that warned of covid-19, has observed an increase , which it has already described as an outbreak, in cases of pneumonia in children .
The data comes from the ProMed system , a global tool for monitoring human and animal disease outbreaks, which reported a week ago the increase in 'undiagnosed pneumonia' among the child population .
Although it is spreading rapidly, there is still no conclusive data, which is why the World Health Organization (WHO) has officially asked the Chinese health authorities for all the detailed information available .
In Spain , the Ministry of Health will be 'vigilant' and 'proactive', as stated by its head, Mónica García, and waiting for the notifications gathered by the WHO.
The first estimates attribute this increase to the lifting of restrictions due to covid-19 and the circulation of known pathogens such as influenza, 'Mycoplasma pneumoniae' that generally affects younger children, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and SARS. -CoV-2.
Precisely, 'Mycoplasma' seems to be the main bacterial protagonist of this outbreak - although there could be other pathogens involved and acting in combination -, and which, according to the health authorities in Beijing, is increasing this winter as the infections have been eliminated. anti-covid-19 measures in this country.
In fact, the latest data from China's Epidemiology systems, with laboratory tests, indicate that no new or unusual pathogens have been detected and continue to attribute the increase in cases to a reduction in immunity against respiratory viruses since the withdrawal of restrictions due to covid-19.
However, and pending new news, Chinese authorities emphasize the need to improve surveillance in health centers and community settings for diseases such as rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and seasonal influenza, mainly the H3N2 strain for which indicates the importance of vaccination .
According to data from the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine (SEMI) , El 'M. pneumoniae' or Eaton's agent colonizes the infected nose, throat, trachea, and lower airways and spreads through respiratory droplets.
Children are affected in a greater proportion than adults, probably because they have partial immunity due to previous exposure, point out SEMI, an entity that considers the prevention of Mycoplasma disease to be problematic: the isolation of infected people would reduce, theoretically, the risk of infection.
So far, the verified facts. But, from them, what else do we know, what can we do, what can we expect?
"Outbreaks of atypical pneumonia in minors are not uncommon in our environment . Furthermore, in a context of increasing cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the situation described seems to respond to previously observed patterns ," according to SMC. Adrián Hugo Aginagalde , specialist in Preventive Medicine and Public Health, coordinator of the Public Health Section of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Bilbao and head of service of the Epidemiological Surveillance and Health Information Unit of Gipuzkoa.
Unlike viral respiratory infections, cases due to Mycoplasma, bacteria that cause respiratory infections, "are more difficult to confirm. They are milder, do not require hospitalization and are treated like community-acquired pneumonia , but empirical antibiotic treatment, without microbiological confirmation, makes it difficult to determine the pathogen later, given that its growth in sputum samples is inhibited by its action.
According to their data, in our environment "similar circumstances have been seen and they have not had a healthcare impact. Despite this, until confirmation by other means, such as serology, it is too early to have a definitive evaluation of the risk it may entail."
WHO asks Beijing for information on pneumonia outbreak in children
ProMed issued a notice about an epidemic of "undiagnosed pneumonia" in groups of children that was concentrated in northern China.
This is the first winter since 2019 that China has spent it without the extreme lockdowns under the zero covid policy. It is about to mark one year since the social protests that accelerated the authorities' decision to lift restrictions. The pandemic was behind us and the Asian giant turned the page faster than expected. But these days, diving through social media, videos are once again circulating of overflowing hospitals due to an outbreak of pneumonia that is hitting children especially in the north of the country.
In the capital, Beijing, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced earlier this month that there were 3,500 patients admitted with respiratory infection at the Children's Hospital and that this was due to an outbreak of Mycoplasma pneumoniae , also known as "walking pneumonia." ", a bacteria that causes lung diseases.
When photographs and videos of hospital waiting rooms full of parents with their young children in their arms began to be shared this week on platforms like Weibo, X's Chinese brother, health officials held a press conference to warn that the country is going through a peak in seasonal respiratory diseases , such as the aforementioned pneumonia, influenza - with H3N2 currently being the dominant strain - or a rebound in covid cases.
At the Huashan Hospital in Shanghai, several doctors tell this newspaper that since October they have been noticing a greater influx of patients with respiratory diseases due to the circulation of known pathogens , and that in other years, due to pandemic restrictions, there was no such hospital pressure for the protection of the use of masks and confinements.
But the alert was raised on Tuesday night when ProMed, a large surveillance system that monitors disease outbreaks around the world, issued a notification about an epidemic of "undiagnosed pneumonia" in groups of children that was concentrated in the north from China, in places like Beijing or the province of Liaoning, separated by more than 600 kilometers. In December 2019, ProMed already published a report with questions about the then strange pneumonia that was circulating in the city of Wuhan and which later resulted in the Covid-19 pandemic.
The alert issued by ProMed led the World Health Organization (WHO) to officially request on November 22, 2023, Beijing to detail all the information on the increase in respiratory diseases. In its statement, the WHO points out that it is not clear whether these cases are associated with the pneumonia outbreak previously reported by Chinese authorities or if it is a separate outbreak.
"Many countries had outbreaks of respiratory diseases after lifting lockdowns. The disease could be anything. We need more information about the symptoms, epidemiology and what has been proven," Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, who is part of the WHO emergency program
The global health agency said it has requested additional epidemiological and clinical information from Beijing, as well as laboratory results of the infections reported in minors. It has also asked the Asian giant's health authorities for more information on trends in the circulation of known pathogens and the current burden on health care systems.
November 27, 2023
UNITED KINGDOM CONFIRMS NEW VIRUS.
The UK has confirmed its first human case of a new strain of swine flu, H1N2.
The individual tested positive for the virus in North Yorkshire and had mild symptoms, later recovering.
The UK Health Security Agency is actively tracing contacts and investigating the source.
This variant differs from the H1N1 strain from the 2009 outbreak and has so far shown no clear transmissibility or related cases in the UK.
Swine flu is typically transmitted from pigs to humans, although it is rare for it to spread from person to person.
The UKHSA advises people with respiratory symptoms to avoid contact, especially with vulnerable people.
November 28, 2023
COVID-TYPE CAUTION URGED AS WHO INVESTIGATES NEW INCREASE IN RESPIRATORY ILLNESSES IN CHINA
Scientists are urging caution amid concerns of a possible new pandemic following an increase in respiratory illnesses and pneumonia clusters among children in China.
The World Health Organization has requested more information from China, but experts stress the need for diagnostic details before drawing conclusions.
Similarities between this alert and the initial COVID-19 advisory have raised concerns, although scientists suggest it may indicate an increase in common respiratory infections or a resurgence of COVID-19 rather than a new pathogen.
While some question the real nature of undiagnosed diseases, experts highlight the importance of China's response to the WHO and look forward to further evaluation.
Concerns about the transparency of both the WHO and China, stemming from the early days of COVID-19, add to the scrutiny. China has 24 hours to respond to the WHO's request for information.
November 29, 2023
Hazmat-clad workers in China amid mysterious pneumonia outbreak. Covid-19 comparisons are made.
Terrifying images show health workers in protective suits disinfecting schools in China.
The Netherlands reports an alarming rise in pneumonia among children, similar to the outbreak in China.
The health authorities of Utrecht note a "surprising" increase in sick children since August.
Dutch cases are almost double last year's peak and predominantly affect children aged 5 to 14.
China's hospitals are facing an overwhelming number of sick children with similar symptoms.
Beijing officials cite seasonal illnesses as the cause of post-Covid restrictions.
Global health experts are closely monitoring the situation for possible broader implications.
November 30, 2023
Pneumonia Outbreak in American Children: Ohio Strikes Back, WHO Investigates China Crisis!
Ohio is battling a terrifying outbreak of pediatric pneumonia, prompting the creation of an emergency fast lane for children, as the United States faces a China-like health emergency.
The United States is reeling from a sharp rise in childhood respiratory infections, much like China's alarming outbreak.
The World Health Organization is urgently demanding China's outbreak records, indicating the seriousness of this global health threat.
DENMARK DECLARE A PNEUMONIA EPIDEMIC AS CASES TRIPLE
CHINA'S HOSPITALS STRUGGLE TO KEEP UP WITH THE OUTBREAK
- The increase in Mycoplasma pneumonia cases began in the summer and has intensified, tripling last week since mid-October.
- Reports from the Netherlands also highlight a notable increase in pneumonia cases among children and young people since August.
- Global concerns arise as China faces overcrowded pediatric hospitals and clinics, attributing the strain to a mix of respiratory viruses, including Mycoplasma pneumonia, commonly known as "walking pneumonia."
OHIO WHITE LUNG PANDEMIC
Fears of a China-like outbreak grip the nation.
Ohio is facing a worrying increase in cases of pediatric pneumonia, called "white lung syndrome."
It is the first US state to report an outbreak similar to the situation in China.
Health officials express concern about a possible winter outbreak similar to the one overwhelming Chinese hospitals.
Despite the localized concern, a CDC source says that at the national level there is nothing extraordinary.
MASSACHUSETTS SECOND US STATE TO REPORT MYSTERIOUS WAVE OF PNEUMONIA
'WHITE LUNG' OUTBREAK AFTER INCREASE IN CASES IN CHINA AND EUROPE
Concerns are emerging globally, and the CDC faces pressure to provide information about the pneumonia outbreak in China.
Theories link the surge to a combination of known pathogens, and officials urge precautions as winter approaches.
Experts suggest the cyclical nature of mycoplasma and weakened immunity in children due to COVID-19 restrictions may contribute to the rise.
December 1, 2023
INDIA SEES RISE IN 'WHITE LUNG' CASES AMID GLOBAL SCARE
India is now hit by a worrying rise in cases, echoing the white lung pneumonia outbreak in China.
Hospitals, especially in Ranchi, are scrambling to set up more isolation wards to handle this influx.
The Government of India also does not want to take risks and is strengthening its health strategy.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is closely monitoring these developments, while the CDC suggests they may be related to common respiratory viruses.
Despite assurances, the rapid spread and uncertainty are causing apprehension around the world, mirroring the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic and raising concerns about a possible repeat of a global health crisis.
GREAT BRITAIN ON ALERT FOR 'Mysterious' PNEUMONIA
Health experts are warning of a possible outbreak in Britain similar to the "mysterious" pneumonia seen in China.
Beijing authorities report a sharp rise in cases, especially among children, raising new pandemic fears.
The situation, attributed in part to the consequences of the lockdown, could be reflected in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, such as Europe and the United States.
Hospitals in China are on the brink of collapse due to the avalanche of cases, prompting increased surveillance by the CDC and WHO.
INCREASE OF SERIOUS 'WHITE LUNG' VIRUS CAUSES CHILDREN'S PNEUMONIA OUTBREAK ACROSS THE US
Cases of the mysterious "white lung syndrome" are increasing across the United States, especially affecting children.
Outbreaks have been reported in Warren County, Ohio, and East Longmeadow, Massachusetts.
The cause is believed to be a combination of infectious diseases such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, Covid-19 and Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
Reports from Beijing, China and now Denmark and the Netherlands indicate a global increase in cases, raising concerns about a possible epidemic.
REPUBLICAN SENATORS URGED THE ADMINISTRATIVE TO "IMMEDIATELY CANCEL TRIPS" BETWEEN THE US AND CHINA DUE TO A "Mysterious RESPIRATORY ILLNESS"
ITALY REPORTS FIRST CASES OF CONTAGIOUS CHINESE 'WHITE LUNG' DISEASE
Pediatricians: ?Don't panic, antibiotics only if they are prescribed.?
After an outbreak in China, cases have been detected in the United States, France, the Netherlands and Denmark. Other countries such as India, Hong Kong and Indonesia have taken precautions to prevent a spread.
Italy has reported two cases of mycoplasma pneumonia in children.
This comes as hospitals in China are overwhelmed by the onslaught of cases, prompting increased surveillance by the CDC and WHO, and calls in the United States for a travel ban to China.
The WHO, after asking Beijing for explanations:
?We are monitoring the situation in China and have once again seen a general increase in acute respiratory infections due to several different pathogens, including influenza, which is on the rise. ?Mycoplasma pneumonia has increased over the past two months and now appears to be decreasing slightly.?
Maria Van Kerkhove, technical manager of the Covid pandemic at the WHO:
"We are working with our clinical networks and doctors working in China to better understand antibiotic resistance, which is a problem around the world."
Comparisons are being made between this outbreak and the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.
CANADA IS THE NEXT COUNTRY TO REPORT CASES OF THE MYSTERIOUS PATHOGEN OUTBREAK
The Calgary Hospital notice reveals four cases of "white lung disease."
This follows an outbreak in China, which strained hospitals, and spread to the US, France, the Netherlands and Denmark.
Precautions have been implemented in India, Hong Kong and Indonesia as the CDC and WHO go on high alert and some officials call for a ban on travel to China from the United States.
HERE ARE ALL THE COUNTRIES AFFECTED AND ON ALERT BY THE NEW OUTBREAK OF MYSTERIOUS PATHOGEN
THE UNITED KINGDOM INCREASES CASES OF THE MYSTERIOUS 'WHITE LUNG' DISEASE
The UK is experiencing a rise in pneumonia cases following a "mysterious" outbreak affecting China, the US and Europe.
This situation coincides with renewed lockdown measures in China, reminiscent of the Covid outbreak, including the reintroduction of masks and social distancing.
Health officials have confirmed that 49 children in Wales have fallen ill with mycoplasma pneumonia, a respiratory infection.
Additionally, a study indicates that 12 cases have emerged in England.
Although a rise in infections is typical at the moment, Public Health Wales (PHW) notes that this marks the most significant increase reported since 2020.
FRANCE , THE NEXT COUNTRY TO REPORT THE WORLDWIDE OUTBREAK OF 'WHITE LUNG' DISEASE
Reports from the French public health body reveal a significant increase in pediatric pneumonia cases during the fall
Last week alone there was a 36% increase in medical visits
Most of these infections are attributed to the bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which has attracted global attention, with outbreaks reported in China, the US and the EU.
NEW OUTBREAK OF PNEUMONIA HAS ALREADY SPREAD TO 11 US STATES
As the mysterious pneumonia outbreak continues to spread throughout China, 11 states in the United States are affected by the mysterious respiratory illness.
Just a few hours ago it was only 1 State!
"The increase is most notable in the South Central, Southeast, Mountain, and West Coast regions," the CDC wrote in its report.
Based on data collected, CDC experts predict that this year's respiratory virus season will look a lot like last year.
They expect the flu season, in particular, to be within the "typical range of severity."
As this mysterious disease continues to spread around the world following an outbreak in China, many are beginning to draw parallels to the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
December 2, 2023
'White lung' crisis: Mysterious respiratory wave hits Romania .
Romania is now facing an increase in "white lung", a mysterious respiratory infection.
Originally from China and now detected in some parts of Europe, it presents flu-like symptoms but remains unidentified.
The disease, which causes an increase in hospitalizations, is particularly serious when combined with the flu, RSV or COVID.
The spread to the Netherlands, France, Denmark, the United States and Korea raises global health concerns.
Dr. Octavian Jurma talks about this enigma: "No new bacteria have been discovered, the nature of this pneumonia is mysterious."
Newspaper: The sun (November 27, 2023).
Reuters (November 28, 2023).
DailyMail online (November 29, 2023).
CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy) November 30, 2023.
Financial Times (December 1, 2023).
CNN (December 2, 2023).
Photo: Mario Nawfal
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