Should we be worried about an outbreak of pneumonia among children in China?

Should we be worried about an outbreak of pneumonia among children in China?Pediatric pulmonologist respondsMark R. Christiano

China has once again become the focus of international attention due to the increase in cases. Respiratory Diseases,especially pneumonia in childrenin the past few weeks.


The health situation puts the country on alert, especially in the north: Pediatric hospital collapse and babies receiving drips in the corridors of the hospital centre.

There’s no doubt these images remind us of the worst months Pandemic caused by COVID-19.

therefore, World Health Organization (WHO) has quickly requested more information from the country’s health authorities, who attribute the rise in cases to ” Lift restrictions Because of coronavirus. ”

Currently, as can be seen from the statement provided by the World Health Organization, Chinese health experts assure that these diseases can be attributed to known pathogen.

we talk about pathogens like those influenza (influenza), Or is it the reason for the outbreak? Coronavirus(SARS-CoV-2) Or there is Mycoplasma pneumoniaea common bacteria that often causes mild illness in children.

Pneumonia cases increase among children in China

Why are childhood pneumonia cases soaring?

Regarding the reasons for the increase in cases, Dr. Gemma MoreiraPediatrician Pulmonary and Pediatric Allergy Specialist, It is clear.As he explained to this newspaper, this epidemic is likely to be “Consequences of Incarceration”, As Chinese health authorities also noted.

This is because of the children “They have not been exposed to the virus and they are not immune“.

Most of the Cases are mild and many of them No hospitalization required. Yet images coming out of China continue to surprise us and make us worry about the critical situation they appear to be suffering.

  • Respiratory viruses and bacteria are common this time of year (November to February), even though they disappeared during the pandemic. These are children whose immune systems have not yet functioned or been exposed to these pathogens,” he noted.

Cases of “unexplained” childhood pneumonia increase in China

However, to reassure everyone, he pointed out “This is to be expected”. The peak period for respiratory infections always occurs in November, which is also one of the months with the most frequent pediatric visits.that’s all Situation in China ‘doesn’t alarm us at the moment’.

And, as Dr. Moreira emphasizes, The same thing happened in Spain.

when. . .when restrictions In our country, “more serious” respiratory infections occur because Our immune systems are weakened. on the contrary, Infectious bacteria become stronger.

If things get worse, are we better prepared than we were in 2020?

Although the root cause of this incident is still under investigation “Unknown” pneumonia In China, many people inevitably wonder whether it is possible to cross the Asian country’s borders. But it’s really unlikely.

WHO asks China to provide more information amid rising pneumonia cases in children

What we know today is We are better prepared than in 2020 With the emergence of SARS-CoV-2. That’s what pediatrician Gemma Moreira tells us.

  • “We have learned a lot from COVID-19. “Now we know how to manage emergencies in critical situations, also at the population level and, above all, citizens are more aware of taking better care of themselves, hygiene and protective measures (Wash your hands, ventilate, wear a mask…). ”

Respiratory infections in children: what they are and how to prevent them

this respiratory tract infection The most common among children are those Affects the road abovenamely upper respiratory tract catarrh, pharyngitis and laryngitis (upper airway).

They are the leading reason for medical consultation and the leading reason for hospitalization in children under five years of age.. The most common cause is viral: benign and self-limiting. The most common are:

  • Rhinovirus

  • coronavirus family

  • RSV (respiratory syncytial virus)

  • influenza

  • Adenovirus

However, there are a small number of lower impact roads. yes:

  • pneumonia

  • bronchitis

  • Bronchopneumonia.

Pneumonia in children under five is usually caused by viruses (RSV and adenovirus) or bacteria Mycoplasma Children over five years old. They are “softer and atypical.”

This is the scary RSV, the respiratory syncytial virus that causes dangerous bronchiolitis

The form of transmission is through the air route, the so-called “Droplets” We’re hearing a lot during the COVID-19 health crisis.

When we cough or sneeze we expel them, they float in the air and are transmitted through inhalation or contact (contact with “contaminated” surfaces).

One of the main risk factors is enclosed and unventilated spaces. Don’t forget about “poor hand hygiene.”

Therefore, the main measures to avoid the development of respiratory infections lead us to take the following measures: Pandemic COVID-19:

  • Extreme hand hygiene.

  • Masks prevent droplets from being discharged.

  • and a ventilated space (even more important than a mask).

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