February 22, 2024

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Global Surge in Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Infections Sparks Expert Warnings

Global Surge in Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Infections Sparks Expert Warnings



Global Surge in Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Infections Sparks Expert Warnings

As Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP) infections surge across multiple countries worldwide, experts issue warnings to prepare for the worst.

Theories such as the “immunity gap” struggle to explain why MP infections are erupting at this time.

In recent reports from Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, and parts of the United States, there is a noticeable rise in pediatric pneumonia cases linked to MP infections.

The Netherlands reports a “staggering increase” in pediatric pneumonia patients, while Denmark’s health authorities state that MP infections have reached a “pandemic state” in the past five weeks. Data analysis covering several countries indicates a similar trend in Sweden and Singapore, with reported cases trailing only behind Denmark.

Medical experts cited by the Daily Mail warn that MP infections are on the rise in several European countries, urging healthcare systems to prepare for the worst. With the upcoming holiday season, characterized by large gatherings and increased mobility, there are concerns that infection numbers may continue to rise in the coming weeks.

This year’s surge is deemed “unusual,” with Denmark reporting a significant increase in MP infections among school-age children (6-12 years old). In the past seven days leading up to November 26, Denmark recorded 541 MP infections, more than triple the number reported in the same period in October.

Global Surge in Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Infections Sparks Expert Warnings

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

The Netherlands experienced an earlier wave of infections, with a substantial increase in pneumonia cases among 5-14-year-olds, rising by 124% compared to the same period in 2022. Similar reports come from France and Sweden.

Globally, the upward trend in MP infections has persisted for some time. A study published in The Lancet – Microbe at the end of November reported a rise in MP detection rates from less than 1% to 4.12% across 24 countries and 45 locations from April to September 2023.

Experts attribute the current surge to various factors, including increased preventative measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to reduced transmission of other pathogens. Additionally, a surge in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza cases at the end of 2022 is linked to an “immunity gap” resulting from strict pandemic measures.

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

While some argue that improved testing capabilities contribute to the surge, others believe that the prolonged incubation period and lower transmission rate of MP may have allowed it to accumulate in populations before spreading.

Warnings emphasize the need to be cautious about severe cases, although MP infections are generally mild and often referred to as “walking pneumonia.” This year’s infections, however, exhibit differences, with many hospitalized children showing atypical symptoms such as high fever and lung consolidation.

As China reports a decline in MP infections in some regions, attention turns to the onset of the 2023-2024 flu season, with the World Health Organization indicating that influenza is now replacing MP as the primary driver of acute respiratory diseases in China.


Key Factors Behind the Surge in Respiratory Infections in China

Global Surge in Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Infections Sparks Expert Warnings

(source:internet, reference only)


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