(MENAFN- AzerNews) Since mid-October 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) has
been tracking data from China's surveillance systems that show a
rise in respiratory infections among children in northern China, Azernews reports, citing WHO.
Description of the Situation
During a press conference on 13 November 2023, China's National
Health Commission reported an increase in respiratory infections
across the country, predominantly among children. Chinese
authorities attributed this increase to the lifting of restrictions
due to COVID-19 and the onset of the cold season, as well as the
circulation of known pathogens such as influenza, Mycoplasma
pneumoniae, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and severe acute
respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Mycoplasma
pneumoniae and RSV are known to affect children more often than
On the twenty-second of November 2023, WHO identified media and
ProMED reports of pockets of undiagnosed pneumonia in children's
hospitals in Beijing, Liaoning and other localities in China. WHO,
through the International Health Regulations mechanism, formally
requested additional epidemiological and clinical information, as
well as laboratory results on the cases and recent trends in the
circulation of respiratory pathogens.
The main objective was to determine whether the "outbreaks of
undiagnosed pneumonia" described in media reports had occurred in
Beijing and Liaoning and, if so, whether they were isolated
outbreaks or the result of a known generalised increase in
respiratory infections in the population. WHO also sought
additional information through clinical networks.
On 23 November, WHO held a remote meeting with Chinese health
authorities from the China Centre for Disease Control and
Prevention and Beijing Children's Hospital, facilitated by the
National Health Commission and the National Administration for
Disease Prevention and Control, which provided requested data
showing an increase in outpatient consultations and hospital
admissions in children due to pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma
pneumoniae (since May) and RSV, an adenovirus Some of these rises
in incidence occurred earlier than usual, but they are not
unexpected given the lifting of restrictions due to COVID-19; a
similar situation has been observed in other countries. Health
authorities in China have not reported changes in the clinical
manifestations of the disease.
Chinese authorities noted that no unusual or new pathogens or
unusual clinical manifestations had been identified, including in
Beijing and Liaoning, other than the above-mentioned generalised
increase in respiratory infections caused by several known
pathogens. They also said that the rise in respiratory infections
had not caused patient numbers to exceed hospital capacity.
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