Chinese hospitals have been filled to overflowing with children suffering from a form of bacterial pneumonia, according to news reports.
“Children’s hospitals in Beijing, Liaoning and other places were overwhelmed with sick children, and schools and classes were on the verge of suspension,” FTV News of Taiwan reported.
The outlet quoted a Beijing resident as saying “Many, many are hospitalized. They don’t cough and have no symptoms. They just have a high temperature (fever) and many develop pulmonary nodules.”
Radio Free Asia said the situation “is causing a resurgence of severe illness following a lull during three years of zero-COVID restrictions.”
The outlet reported more than 3,500 respiratory infection cases had been admitted to the Beijing Children’s Hospital in recent weeks, citing “media reports” as blaming Mycoplasma pneumonia, which causes lung infections.
RFA said medical facilities have been so overwhelmed that waiting rooms are full and patients face a wait time of more than 24 hours to be seen.
The outlet, citing medical journals, said some cases appear to include both COVID-19 and the pneumonia strain, “while others have pointed to weakened immunity from infection and reinfection with COVID-19, which has also been linked to recent surges in other respiratory infections in children.”
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) November 22, 2023
The ProMed disease monitoring system issued a notice about the outbreak Tuesday, citing the FTV report.
“It was a ProMed alert in late December 2019 that brought a mystery virus later named Sars-Cov-2 to the attention of many doctors and scientists, including senior officials at the World Health Organization,” the U.K. Telegraph reported.
ProMed acknowledged the report by its “rapporteur” Dan Silver, and added a note saying, “This report suggests a widespread outbreak of an undiagnosed respiratory illness in several areas in China as Beijing and Liaoning are almost 800 km apart.
“It is not at all clear when this outbreak started as it would be unusual for so many children to be affected so quickly. The report does not say that any adults were affected suggesting some exposure at the schools. ProMED awaits more definitive information about the etiology and scope of this concerning illness in China.”
Watching this one closely…
— Isaac Bogoch (@BogochIsaac) November 22, 2023
Students and teachers alike have fallen ill, with some school classes “wiped out,” FTV reported, adding that, “Parents complain that the Chinese government is covering up the epidemic and harming the health of their children.”
It added that since China relaxed its lockdowns and screening, there have been scattered epidemics of influenza, mycoplasma and bronchopneumonia.
“Since the symptoms of these diseases are similar to those of the new coronavirus, people have questioned whether the government has been covering up the epidemic,” FTV reported.
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