What We Know About The Respiratory Illness Outbreak ‘Overwhelming’ China’s Hospitals

27 Nov 2023 • China’s hospitals have been flooded with cases of respiratory illnesses and sick children complaining of pneumonia-like symptoms, leading to increased scrutiny from the World Health Organisation (WHO). WHO has made an official request to China for detailed information on an increase in respiratory illnesses and reported clusters of pneumonia in children.

  • On 21 November, media and ProMED reported clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia in children in northern China.
  • On 22 November, WHO requested additional epidemiologic and clinical information, as well as laboratory results from these reported clusters among children, through the International Health Regulations mechanism.
  • Last week, the largest paediatric hospital in nearby Tianjin reportedly received more than 13,000 children at its outpatient and emergency departments.

The spike in respiratory illnesses that China is currently suffering is not as high as before the COVID-19 pandemic, a World Health Organisation official said, reiterating that no new or unusual pathogens had been found in the recent cases.

Source: WHO | Read full story

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