WHO is asking for information on the rise in respiratory diseases in China

The World Health Organization (WHO) has requested information from China on the rise in children’s respiratory diseases.

A Thursday In a news release, the health agency said Chinese health officials reported an increase in respiratory illnesses, including a cluster of pneumonia in children earlier this month.

Health officials attributed the increase to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and the circulation of known pathogens such as influenza, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19.

Mycoplasma pneumonia is a common bacterial infection that usually affects younger children, the news release said.

“On November 22, WHO requested additional epidemiological and clinical information and laboratory results of these reported clusters among children through the International Health Regulatory Mechanism,” the health agency said in its news release. “We also requested more information on recent trends in the circulation of known pathogens, including influenza, SARS-CoV-2, RSV and mycoplasma pneumoniae, and the current burden on healthcare systems.”

According to the Associated Press, China’s National Health Commission said Thursday that children experiencing mild symptoms should first go to primary health care centers or general hospital children’s wards because major hospitals can be crowded and have long waits.

According to Chinese state media, the average number of patients in the internal medicine department at Beijing Children’s Hospital has risen to 7,000 per day, exceeding the hospital’s capacity.

The WHO said it plans to engage with doctors and scientists through existing technical partnerships and networks in China to recommend that Chinese authorities adopt measures to reduce the risk of respiratory disease.

“While WHO seeks this additional information, we recommend that people in China follow measures to reduce the risk of respiratory disease, including recommended vaccination; keeping distance from sick people; Staying at home when sick; examination and necessary medical care; wearing appropriate masks; Ensuring good ventilation; and regular hand washing,” the news release noted. “WHO will continue to provide updates.”

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