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Mysterious pneumonia outbreak strikes children in China, experts express concerns

China faces a surge in mysterious pneumonia cases affecting children, prompting school closures. Experts express concerns about the unidentified strain, while hospitals grapple with overwhelmed resources.



In a concerning development, China has reported a resurgence of mysterious pneumonia cases affecting children. The revelation comes from ProMED, a global disease surveillance system monitoring outbreaks in humans and animals worldwide.

ProMed issued a notice about an epidemiological report on “undiagnosed pneumonia” in children in China. Pneumonia, a common medical term describing lung infections and inflammation caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi, has taken an alarming turn with this unidentified strain.

One notable incident occurred at a Children’s Hospital in Beijing, overflowing with sick children, leading to the closure of numerous schools.

Epidemiology expert Dr Eric Feigl-Ding, witnessing the severity of the situation, warned the public about the escalating outbreak. In a post on his X platform account, @DrEricDing, he shared a video depicting the dire conditions in the hospital, where hundreds of people queued outside, all wearing masks. Inside, parents cradled their ailing children, awaiting medical assistance.

Children are advised to promptly go to the hospital if experiencing symptoms like high fever and lung inflammation but no cough.

“The pandemic clock keeps ticking; we don’t know what time it is now. However, it’s still unclear how and when this outbreak started. Worrisome,” wrote Dr Feigl-Ding.

The impact extends beyond children, with teachers contracting the disease from their students, resulting in the closure of several schools.

Dr Feigl-Ding expressed his concern about the lack of clarity regarding the outbreak’s origin and timeline. He emphasized the seriousness of the new epidemic, making it challenging to obtain a specific diagnosis, speculating it could be a new virus or a resilient antibiotic-resistant bacterium.

Illustration: Chinese Netizen. (Photo: AP)

The influx of pediatric patients due to this mysterious pneumonia is also overwhelming hospitals like the Tianjian Children’s Hospital. Director Liu Wei stated that his staff is struggling, with over 13,171 patients treated in the past 24 hours.

He appealed to parents to remain calm, acknowledging the efforts of the hospital staff who are also parents dealing with sick children.

A parent from Wuhan Hospital shared the plight of their fourth-grade son suffering from pneumonia. However, the extended waiting lists in medical facilities, up to five days in some cases, have sparked concerns on Chinese social media. Parents are finding it increasingly difficult to secure hospital appointments, prompting questions about the adequacy of medical resources.

“Not just in Beijing. Chongqing is facing difficulties here. All children suffer from respiratory diseases,” wrote someone on Weibo, a Chinese microblogging website.

“If Beijing doesn’t have medical resources, how can other places survive?” wrote another.

Calls for school closures have risen due to the high transmission rates within school environments. Despite this, local education authorities have been hesitant to shift to online classes.

Meanwhile, government media urges parents to take older children to the doctor only if their fever persists for three days or more, stating that respiratory infections are common among children.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), experts are still studying the spread patterns of this unknown cause of pneumonia.

Although the risk of another pandemic cannot be ruled out, early monitoring suggests a relatively positive outlook compared to the initial Wuhan cases in November 2019. WHO explained that the potential for a pandemic is 50:50, with the current cases being milder and not resulting in fatalities, primarily affecting children who are most vulnerable.

As the situation unfolds, authorities are working to understand and contain the mysterious pneumonia outbreak, with global health experts closely monitoring the developments.

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decouple from commie diseased china already lah. the world lived just fine in 80s before the commies “opened up”, and wasted tons of USA and japanese investment money. and also screwed over singapore gov twice.

Dr Eric Feigl-Ding,is not in China.
He is outside of China.

How did he get data?
Where id the data from?

China state media?
Social media?