July 25, 2024

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Increase in Child Pneumonia in China: WHO Calls for Calm Response

Increase in Child Pneumonia in China: WHO Calls for Calm Response

Increase in Child Pneumonia in China: WHO Calls for Calm Response

The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged China for detailed reports on the increasing cases of respiratory diseases and pediatric pneumonia.

The WHO’s China office stated on the 23rd that it holds a “routine” perspective on the need for periodic confirmation.

Concerns about not inciting panic over the possibility of a new pandemic have been emphasized, with prominent researchers calling for further information.

China, experiencing its first full-fledged winter since the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, is grappling with a surge in respiratory diseases. The government has issued warnings, particularly in northern regions, including Beijing, where there is a high incidence of pediatric pneumonia.


Increase in Child Pneumonia in China: WHO Calls for Calm Response


Mycoplasma Pneumonia: Another “COVID-19” Outbreak in China?

What is Mycoplasma Pneumoniae? How to treat it?



On November 24th, WHO spokesperson Lindmayer mentioned that the current surge does not appear to be caused by a new pathogen.

WHO Spokesperson Lindmayer:

“In the respiratory diseases currently occurring, the reported symptoms are common to several respiratory illnesses. At this point, Chinese hospitals and surveillance systems report that clinical symptoms are attributed to widely prevalent known pathogens. Mycoplasma pneumonia is a common respiratory pathogen, a typical cause of pediatric pneumonia, easily treatable with antibiotics.”


This situation gained attention after WHO reported a cluster infection of unexplained pneumonia among children this week. Following a request for further information from the Chinese government, WHO revealed on the 24th that data disclosure had occurred.

Both China and WHO have faced scrutiny regarding the transparency of reports on initial cases of the new coronavirus at the end of 2019.

Authorities have started issuing public health recommendations this month, urging caution about long wait times and the risk of cross-infections in crowded hospitals.

Parents visiting a pediatric hospital in Shanghai expressed relatively low concern, with one woman stating, “Please don’t associate everything with a pandemic. Let’s solve the problem scientifically.”

WHO has pointed out the potential impact of the relaxation of COVID-19 regulations on the increase in infections, in addition to the known pathogens spreading for several months.




Understanding Mycoplasma Pneumonia: Expert Insights from China National Children’s Medical Center

Mycoplasma pneumonia has recently gained widespread attention. What are its main symptoms? When should one seek medical attention? How can home care be effectively managed?

Dr. Xu Baoping, Director of the Respiratory Department at the National Children’s Medical Center and Beijing Children’s Hospital, provides answers.


Q: What is Mycoplasma Pneumonia, and what are its symptoms?

Mycoplasma is a microorganism that falls between viruses and bacteria and is a common pathogen in nature. Mycoplasma pneumonia is one type of Mycoplasma that mainly spreads through respiratory droplets. The pathogen can be present in secretions during coughing, sneezing, and runny noses.

Typical symptoms of Mycoplasma pneumonia in children include fever and cough. The cough initially tends to be intermittent and irritative, progressing to a cough with phlegm as the condition worsens. In severe cases, children may experience wheezing and breathing difficulties. Immediate medical attention is essential in such cases.

Q: Does infection with Mycoplasma Pneumonia always lead to pneumonia? Does it cause “white lung”?

Infection with Mycoplasma pneumonia does not always result in pneumonia. Pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma occurs when the pathogen invades the lower respiratory tract. “White lung” typically refers to acute respiratory distress syndrome, which occurs during severe infections, showing rapid and diffuse lung lesions. The symptoms and severity of “white lung” differ from those of Mycoplasma pneumonia.

In some cases of Mycoplasma pneumonia, chest imaging may show a white patch, usually caused by infection in a lung lobe or segment. This is mainly due to airway obstruction or inflammatory exudation within the lung. However, this is a different concept from the medical term “white lung.” With treatments such as postural drainage, expectorant medications, and bronchoscopy, children can recover within a short time.

Q: When should parents seek medical attention for their children with Mycoplasma Pneumonia?

The course of Mycoplasma pneumonia varies with the severity of the condition, with milder cases having a shorter duration and severe cases lasting longer. The key is timely identification and early treatment.

Given the recent increase in respiratory infections, parents should be vigilant if their child has a fever lasting for three days with no improvement or repeated episodes. If there are noticeable symptoms such as increased coughing, accelerated breathing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, cyanosis, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, poor mental state, or seizures, prompt medical attention is warranted.

Q: How can parents identify severe Mycoplasma Pneumonia in their children?

Early detection of severe and critical cases is crucial to avoid serious consequences. Parents should be highly alert if they observe any of the following signs and seek medical attention promptly:

  • Persistent high fever (above 39°C) for ≥5 days or fever lasting ≥7 days with no downward trend in temperature.
  • Presence of wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, or coughing up blood.
  • Poor mental state, headaches, seizures, frequent vomiting, inability to eat, etc.

Q: What home care measures should be taken if a child is diagnosed with Mycoplasma Pneumonia?

For mild cases that do not require hospitalization, the following measures are recommended for home care:

  • Ensure sufficient rest and energy intake, maintain fluid and electrolyte balance, and avoid sending children with symptoms such as fever, sore throat, runny nose, or cough to school.
  • Properly administer antipyretic drugs. For children aged six months and older, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be chosen, with a maximum of four doses per day. However, simultaneous use of both antipyretic drugs is not recommended, and alternating use is discouraged. For children under six months but over two months, only acetaminophen is recommended.
  • Cough suppressants are not routinely recommended. If dry cough significantly affects a child’s rest, it may be used as needed. Expectorant medications, including oral and nebulized forms, may be used to help clear phlegm.
  • Pay attention to ventilation and cleanliness. Children with a family history of allergies should avoid contact with tobacco, pets, flowers, and plants.
  • If possible, isolate children in families with multiple siblings to prevent mutual transmission.

Q: How can Mycoplasma Pneumonia be prevented?

Currently, there is no vaccine specifically targeting Mycoplasma pneumonia. However, adopting good hygiene practices is crucial for infection prevention:

  • Avoid crowded and poorly ventilated public places, and wear masks when necessary.
  • Use tissues to cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, disposing of used tissues in the trash.
  • Practice good hand hygiene by washing hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Ensure indoor ventilation, with each ventilation session lasting no less than 30 minutes to maintain fresh air.
  • Maintain cleanliness by regularly washing bedding and airing them in the sunlight.
  • Adopt a balanced diet, get adequate sleep, engage in regular physical exercise, and enhance overall health to boost immunity.
  • Schools, kindergartens, and similar institutions should implement effective ventilation and disinfection measures to prevent cluster infections.

Increase in Child Pneumonia in China: WHO Calls for Calm Response

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