Ohio is currently facing an unexpected increase in cases of mycoplasma pneumonia in children, a disease that has also alarmed Denmark and China. Health experts say this type of pneumonia is on the rise and, despite its generally mild nature, requires further investigation.
The Warren County Health District is drawing attention to an increase in pediatric mycoplasma pneumonia incidents this fall, with 145 cases recorded since August, according to a report from the Warren County Health Department. nbc news Published on Thursday 30th November. The most common symptoms include cough, fatigue and fever, mostly in children around eight years old.
Despite the rebound in cases, the health district assured that the severity of cases had not changed from previous years and that there had been no deaths, local media reported.
Outbreak in China
At the same time, Denmark and China are also experiencing mycoplasma pneumonia outbreaks. The rise in various respiratory illnesses has led Taiwan’s Ministry of Health to warn high-risk groups not to travel to China, Hong Kong or Macau.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with Chinese health authorities to fully understand the situation. CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen said mycoplasma pneumonia is not an unknown or new pathogen.
The Warren County Health District agreed, citing a lack of evidence linking the Ohio outbreak to other state, national or international outbreaks.
What is mycoplasma pneumonia?
Mycoplasma pneumonia, often called “walking pneumonia,” is spread by bacteria spread by droplets from an infected person. This bacteria can live benignly in the nose and throat, but if it reaches the lungs, it can cause pneumonia. In the United States, these pneumonia outbreaks typically occur every three to seven years. Symptoms usually last longer than more severe symptoms.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently noted an increase in hospitalizations of children with mycoplasma pneumonia in China. Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and Singapore also reported similar increases.
In the case of Denmark, health authorities have observed a significant increase in cases over the past five weeks.
Children are the most vulnerable to infection
Infectious disease experts advocate increased surveillance while advising against panic. Dr. James Catrell, associate professor of infectious diseases at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, said there is no evidence that more dangerous or novel strains of the bacteria exist.
The cyclical nature of the disease and the resumption of social interaction after the pandemic are said to be factors in the resurgence of mycoplasma pneumonia.
According to local media reports, China’s epidemic follows an expected pattern given the strict quarantine measures. In addition, larger portions of the population, primarily young children, who have not developed immunity due to limited exposure during the pandemic may exacerbate the intensity of the outbreaks currently being recorded.
Treatment of mycoplasma pneumonia usually requires antibiotics, but a sudden increase in cases could put a strain on medical resources, with staff shortages and limited pediatric bed space challenges likely to arise this winter.
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