The World Health Organization appeals to China for explanations regarding the increase in children’s respiratory diseases. Recently, there have been reports of unexplained cases of pneumonia among children in the north of the country.
On Wednesday World Health ORganisation (WHO) announced that due to emerging reports of respiratory diseases and clusters of pneumonia in children in China asked the country’s authorities for detailed explanations. Under the International Health Regulations (IHR), China should respond within 24 hours.
WHO demands explanations from China
According to WHO, during a press conference on November 13, China’s National Health Commission reported an increase in respiratory diseases in children. They were then associated with the lifting of restrictions on Covid-19 and the circulation of known pathogens, such as the influenza virus, the mycoplasma pneumoniae bacterium, the RSV virus and SARS-CoV-2. A week later, the media and the ProMED organization that monitors the emergence of diseases reported clusters of pneumonia cases of unknown origin among children in the north of the country.
WHO says it is unclear whether the two situations are related. The organization therefore expects China to provide epidemiological and clinical information as well as laboratory results regarding pneumonia cases. Accurate data on circulating pathogens and the burden on healthcare systems was also requested.
Radio Free Asia (RFA) points out that hospitals in northern China are “overcrowded with children suffering from a bacterial form of pneumonia.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said more than 3,500 people with “respiratory infections” were admitted to Beijing Children’s Hospital earlier this month. RFA reports that in Beijing hospitals you currently have to wait up to 24 hours to be admitted or make an appointment by phone.
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