Thailand’s health experts say there’s no need to fear over the recent outbreaks of child respiratory infections and lung inflammation in Thailand, Vietnam, and China, blaming them on old bacteria that remained dormant during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The outbreak of respiratory infections and lung inflammation among youngsters in China, according to Public Health Minister Dr. Cholnan Srikaew, are old ailments that decreased during the three-year Covid-19 pandemic.
Lung irritation was uncommon during the epidemic because people took good care of their health and avoided social situations, he said.
Despite describing the situation as one of seasonal disease, Dr Cholnan said he had directed health officials to prepare suitable control measures, particularly in tourism provinces.
Meanwhile, Dr. Yong Poovorawan of Chulalongkorn University’s Center of Excellence in Clinical Virology said on Facebook that respiratory infections were spreading among youngsters in Beijing and Liaoning, with the majority of patients suffering from high fever and lung inflammation.
The instances were caused by the seasonal distribution of viruses, and no new diseases were discovered. As a result, individuals need not be concerned, according to Dr. Yong.
Respiratory diseases were also spreading among Vietnamese youngsters, he added.
There were efficient procedures in place to control respiratory diseases during the Covid-19 epidemic. As a result, children born during that time period, like children born in the previous three years, did not develop antibodies to the illnesses, and the viruses were now spreading, according to Dr. Yong.
In Thailand, influenza, RSV, and rhinovirus parainfluenza have also spread among children, he noted.
He predicted that such disorders would gradually return to pre-Covid-19 levels.According to the World Health Organization, China has reported no “unusual or novel pathogens” in clusters of child pneumonia cases.
China says no ‘novel pathogens’ with child respiratory infections
The World Health Organization (WHO), which had requested further data on the cases, claimed Beijing had attributed an increase in flu-like symptoms to the easing of Covid restrictions. Nonetheless, it recommended Chinese citizens to take precautions such as getting vaccinated and wearing masks.
In recent days, local media stated that hospitals were overcrowded.
The WHO said in a statement on Wednesday that it has asked China for more information on allegations of “clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia in children in northern China” in the media and from ProMed, a worldwide outbreak surveillance system.
Pneumonia is a broad medical word for an infection and inflammation of the lungs. Many different viruses, bacteria, and fungus can cause it.
Following the World Health Organization’s request, the state-run Xinhua news agency published an article in which officials from China’s National Health Commission (NHC) stated that they were paying particular attention to the diagnosis and care of children with respiratory infections.
Later that day, the WHO declared in a statement that China had not found any “unusual or novel pathogens,” and that the surge in respiratory infections spreading in the country’s north was due to “multiple known pathogens.”
World Health Organization “closely monitoring the situation
Northern China has recorded a “increase in influenza-like illness” since October, compared to the same period in the previous three years, according to the WHO. “Some of these increases are earlier in the season than historically experienced, but not unexpected given the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, as similarly experienced in other countries,” according to the press release.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said it is “closely monitoring the situation and is in close contact with national authorities in China.” While talks of China and a wave of infection can make people nervous, recalling the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s excellent procedure for the WHO to seek clarification.
It is also fairly uncommon for the WHO to request further information from countries regarding a cluster of illnesses. They do it nearly every day.
On a daily basis, a WHO professional staff sifts through hundreds of media reports and internal surveillance data on circulating diseases from countries. Experts then assess whether more information is required in case it becomes a public health emergency of international concern.
However, it is unusual to make the request for additional information public. Previously, this was done through private channels between the WHO and national health officials.
The UN agency is no doubt concerned that people may be more wary of viruses reported in China in the aftermath of Covid-19. In the aftermath of the pandemic, the WHO is likewise attempting to be more transparent.
The UK’s health security agency (UKHSA) stated it was keeping a careful eye on the situation.
The Chinese NHC reported last week that various respiratory infections were on the rise across the country, including influenza, Covid, mycoplasma pneumoniae (a frequent bacterial infection affecting younger children), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Officials ascribed the increase to the removal of Covid limits.
Following the lifting of pandemic restrictions, other countries, notably the United Kingdom and the United States, observed comparable increases in flu-like diseases.
“China is likely experiencing a major wave of childhood respiratory infections now because this is the first winter after their lengthy lockdown,” said Prof Francois Balloux of the University College London Genetics Institute.
Prof Paul Hunter of the University of East Anglia (UEA) stated that there is now insufficient data to establish a definitive diagnosis of what is causing the diseases.
“Overall, this does not sound to me like an epidemic due to a novel [new] virus,” he continued. If that’s the case, I’d expect to see a lot more infections in adults. The rare illnesses documented in adults point to pre-existing immunity from previous exposure.”