July 25, 2024

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WHO Requests More Information from China on Pediatric Clustered Pneumonia

WHO Requests More Information from China on Pediatric Clustered Pneumonia

On November 22, the World Health Organization (WHO) formally requested China to provide additional information regarding the increase in respiratory diseases and the reported cases of clustered pneumonia in children.

According to official Chinese media reports, there has been a sudden surge in cases of mycoplasma pneumonia in children in various parts of China, with “a few families or school classes experiencing clustered outbreaks.” The WHO has called on China to provide further relevant information.

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The following is the full translation of the World Health Organization’s statement:

WHO Statement on Reported Clustered Respiratory Diseases in Northern Chinese Children

During a press conference on November 13, 2023, officials from the National Health Commission of China reported an increase in the incidence of respiratory diseases in China. Chinese officials attributed this to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and the spread of known pathogens, such as influenza, mycoplasma pneumonia (a common bacterial infection that usually affects young children), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and SARS-CoV-2 (the virus causing COVID-19). Authorities emphasized the need to strengthen disease surveillance in healthcare institutions and community settings, as well as enhance the capacity of the healthcare system to manage patients.

On November 21, media and the ProMED website reported undisclosed cases of clustered pneumonia in children in northern China. It is currently unclear whether this is related to the overall increase in respiratory infections reported by Chinese officials earlier or a separate incident.

On November 22, the World Health Organization requested more epidemiological and clinical information under the International Health Regulations and laboratory test results from these reported clusters of children. The WHO also sought further information on recent trends of known pathogens, including influenza, SARS-CoV-2, respiratory syncytial virus, and mycoplasma pneumonia, and requested additional information on the current burden on the healthcare system. The WHO continues to stay in touch with clinical and research personnel through our existing technical partnerships and networks in China.

Since mid-October, northern China has reported an increase in influenza-like illnesses compared to the same period in the previous three years. China has systems in place to provide information on trends in influenza, influenza-like illnesses, respiratory syncytial virus, and SARS-CoV-2, reporting to platforms such as the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System.

While the WHO seeks more information, we advise the Chinese public to take measures to reduce respiratory diseases, including getting vaccinated as recommended, maintaining distance from sick individuals, staying at home when ill, undergoing testing and medical care when necessary, wearing masks when appropriate, ensuring good ventilation, and practicing regular hand hygiene.

The World Health Organization will continue to provide updates.

WHO Requests More Information from China on Pediatric Clustered Pneumonia

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WHO Requests More Information from China on Pediatric Clustered Pneumonia

(source:internet, reference only)

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