A mysterious pneumonia is reportedly wreaking havoc on Chinese schools.
According to local news sources, hospitals in Beijing and Liaoning, 500 kilometers northeast, are among those ‘overwhelmed by ill youngsters,’ and school courses are “on the verge of suspension.” The new reports were circulated by The Daily Mail.
The youngsters have atypical symptoms such as lung inflammation and a high temperature, but no cough or other symptoms typically associated with flu, RSV, and other respiratory infections.
ProMed, a massive, publicly accessible worldwide monitoring system that tracks infectious illnesses, issued the alarm late Tuesday.
Watching this one closely…
— Isaac Bogoch (@BogochIsaac) November 22, 2023
A ProMed warning in December 2019 brought a mysterious virus, eventually named Covid, to the attention of many clinicians and scientists, including World Health Organization authorities.
The alarm was based on a story by Taiwanese news site FTV News, which also stated that ‘parents questioned whether the government were concealing the outbreak.’
China was heavily criticized for failing to report the first SARS outbreak in 2003 and the Covid pandemic in late 2019 – both of which were caused by novel viruses that cause pneumonia.
However, the latest epidemic might be linked to Mycoplasma pneumoniae, popularly known as walking pneumonia, which is said to be spreading in China as the nation enters its first winter without stringent Covid lockdowns.
After pandemic limitations were loosened, infections such as RSV and flu spiked in the United States and the United Kingdom.
According to FTV News, Beijing Children’s Hospital was still packed early Wednesday morning.
“The situation in Liaoning Province is also grim,” FTV News said.
According to reports, the lobby of Dalian Children’s Hospital is packed with ill children getting intravenous drips.
Patients are also waiting in large lines at the Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital and the Central Hospital.
“Patients have to wait in line for two hours, and we are all in the emergency department and there are no general outpatient clinics,” claimed a Dalian Central Hospital employee.
Some school courses have been completely canceled. Not only are all of the pupils sick, but the teachers have also contracted pneumonia.
‘Many, many are hospitalized,’ Mr Wei, a Beijing resident, told FTV News. They have no symptoms and do not cough. They only have a high fever and many develop lung nodules.’
According to ProMed’s editor’s remark, “this report shows a large outbreak of an undetected respiratory infection… It is unclear when this outbreak began, as such a large number of youngsters being infected so fast would be unprecedented.
‘The study says no adults were impacted, implying some exposure at the schools.
‘ProMed is looking forward to receiving more definitive information on the origin and breadth of this alarming sickness in China.’
Pneumonia is a potentially fatal illness that attacks one of both lungs. The lungs’ air sacs may fill with fluid or pus.
Pneumonia itself is not communicable, but the respiratory viruses and bacteria that cause it are.
Walking pneumonia, which usually affects young children, causes a sore throat, fatigue, and a cough that can continue for months. Walking pneumonia is so named because the symptoms are generally mild enough for patients to continue walking about.
In severe circumstances, the infection might progress to pneumonia.
Last month, local media sites reported that hospital infections were soaring across China.
According to Zhou Huixia, head of the children’s medical center at the Chinese PLA General Hospital’s Seventh Medical Center, “it is the first wave of mycoplasma pneumoniae infections since most Covid-19 containment measures were lifted at the beginning of this year.”
“The wave has appeared particularly ferocious since the National Day holiday in early October. Compared to previous years, we found more patients with mixed infections, drug resistance and lobar pneumonia,” he added.
Lobar pneumonia affects one or more regions of the lungs, known as lobes.
The number of infections is expected to peak in November, but concerns about drug resistance are mounting.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae is growing increasingly resistant to macrolides, a kind of antibiotic routinely used to treat pneumonia.
A research published in February of last year discovered macrolide resistance in more than 80% of mycoplasma pneumoniae in Chinese infants hospitalized with the infection.
Walking pneumonia has killed very few young people thus far.
Dr. Hua Shaodong of the Beijing Children’s Hospital told China Daily: “There is a steady number of patients developing severe cases, but there are very few critical cases, and there are no related deaths so far. The average days in [the] hospital for hospitalized patients is around seven to 14 days.”
A ProMed ‘RFI’ (request for information) post – the same type as the pneumonia notice – was the early warning of the Covid epidemic in Wuhan, China on December 30, 2019.