The "Chinese" Child Pneumonia is Already in Europe

Business | December 6, 2023, Wednesday // 13:59
Bulgaria: The "Chinese" Child Pneumonia is Already in Europe

The rise of mycoplasma pneumonia, akin to the "Chinese" child pneumonia, has been witnessed across Europe, echoing the respiratory concerns observed in China, reports Euronews.

The infections, propelled by Mycoplasma pneumoniae, are notorious for their impact on children, constituting 30-50% of pneumonia cases, as per data from the French health agency. The bacterial disease poses a heightened risk for the elderly and individuals with compromised immune systems.

Initially observed in China, where pediatric hospitals faced an overflow of children seeking medical care, the World Health Organization requested more details regarding the escalating child morbidity. Chinese authorities clarified that the surge is not due to a new pathogen but a culmination of known respiratory infections—such as influenza, mycoplasma pneumonia, respiratory syncytial virus, and COVID-19.

The upsurge in cases is attributed to the relaxation of travel restrictions post-pandemic and seasonal weather changes, as per Chinese officials. Although the WHO remains vigilant, it has refrained from issuing specific anti-epidemic recommendations beyond standard protocols of isolation, personal hygiene, and optional mask-wearing.

European countries, including France and Denmark, have reported a mycoplasma pneumonia epidemic, with infection rates exceeding 10% in tests. The Lancet noted a surge in cases in 24 countries, mostly in Europe and Asia, spanning from April to September 2023.

Most cases manifest flu-like symptoms such as a persistent cough, fatigue, and headaches, lasting longer than typical respiratory infections. However, the disease generally permits routine activities without significant complications.

Health experts acknowledge a potentially intensified impact due to reduced immunity post-COVID-19, contributing to an uptick in pneumonia and respiratory viruses. Danish authorities observed an increased incidence since the summer, while France noted abnormal spikes compared to previous years.

While no specific interventions have been suggested, the Netherlands and Denmark have historically encountered mycoplasma outbreaks approximately every four years. As of now, authorities do not advocate hospitalization for treatment, as the disease predominantly affects children and school-goers.

Bulgarian health authorities have yet to disclose information regarding mycoplasma pneumonia's prevalence and incidence in the country.

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Tags: pneumonia, europe, China, children

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