An unexplained pneumonia-like sickness is reportedly swiftly spreading through schools in China, leading to a surge of hospitalizations of children.
Over the past few weeks, numerous schools in China, predominantly in Beijing and Liaoning province, have reported a rapid increase in children presenting with severe symptoms. These symptoms, including high fever and lung inflammation, are eerily similar to those of pneumonia, Daily Mail reported.
However, what sets this illness apart is the lack of common respiratory symptoms like coughing. This unique symptom profile has led health professionals to label this as an “undiagnosed pneumonia.”
Note that this peculiar symptomatology has reportedly baffled health professionals, who are struggling to categorize and understand this new illness.
Reports from local news outlets and ProMed, “the largest publicly-available surveillance system conducting global reporting of infectious diseases outbreaks,” have shed light on the alleged severity of the outbreak.
ProMed released the following statement on Tuesday:
With the outbreak of pneumonia in China, children’s hospitals in Beijing, Liaoning and other places were overwhelmed with sick children, and schools and classes were on the verge of suspension. Parents questioned whether the authorities were covering up the epidemic.
In the early morning, Beijing Children’s Hospital was still overcrowded with parents and children whose children had pneumonia and came to seek treatment. Mr. [W], a Beijing citizen: “Many, many are hospitalized. They don’t cough and have no symptoms. They just have a high temperature (fever) and many develop pulmonary nodules.”
The situation in Liaoning Province is also serious. The lobby of Dalian Children’s Hospital is full of sick children receiving intravenous drips. There are also queues of patients at the traditional Chinese medicine hospitals and the central hospitals. A staff member of Dalian Central Hospital said: “Patients have to wait in line for 2 hours, and we are all in the emergency department and there are no general outpatient clinics.”
Some school classes have even been canceled completely. Not only are all students sick, but teachers are also infected with pneumonia. …
Mr. [W], a Beijing citizen: “Now you are not allowed to report to school. If you have any symptoms such as fever, cold, cough and then you are hospitalized, you can ask for leave…”
Since China stopped adhering to the “zero” policy at the beginning of the year , epidemics such as influenza, mycoplasma, and bronchopneumonia have broken out from time to time. …
In the editor’s note, Promed wrote, “This report suggests a widespread outbreak of an undiagnosed respiratory illness in several areas in China as Beijing and Liaoning are almost 800 km apart. It is not at all clear when this outbreak started as it would be unusual for so many children to be affected so quickly. The report does not say that any adults were affected suggesting some exposure at the schools. ProMED awaits more definitive information about the etiology and scope of this concerning illness in China. It is too early to project whether this could be another pandemic but as a wise influenza virologist once said to me “The pandemic clock is ticking, we just do not know what time it is.”
Watching this one closely…
— Isaac Bogoch (@BogochIsaac) November 22, 2023
According to the Daily Mail, the situation is eerily reminiscent of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, raising concerns and prompting global scientists to take notice.
In January 2020, the whole world was in a panic following the circulation of videos from China showing people collapsing on the streets due to an unidentified illness, which was later identified as COVID-19. Contrary to initial fears, reports clarified that not everyone infected with COVID-19 experienced such extreme symptoms.
These fear porn from communist China have exaggerated the typical symptoms of COVID-19 to create mass hysteria, as collapsing in the streets has not been widely documented as a common occurrence among those infected with the virus.
— 巴丢草 Bad ї ucao (@badiucao) January 23, 2020
— 李蔚WayLee (@azurewaylee) January 23, 2020