Chinese officials say surge in respiratory illness likely not caused by novel pathogen

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The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has provided data suggesting the spike in respiratory illnesses in the country is not from a novel pathogen, World Health Organization (WHO) officials claim.

Earlier this month, Chinese authorities from the National Health Commission reported an increase in respiratory diseases in China, prompting the WHO to press the CCP for data on the outbreak.

The WHO claims Chinese health officials have successfully linked the spike in illnesses among children to known pathogens.

CHINA PRESSED BY WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION AFTER RESPIRATORY ILLNESS CLUSTERS REPORTED

Chongqing hospital illness China

Parents with children suffering from respiratory diseases line up at a children’s hospital in Chongqing, China. China has reported an increase in “influenza-like illness” since mid-October when compared to the same period in the previous three years, the WHO said.  ( (Photo credit should read CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images))

Specifically, officials attribute the scores of infections to respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, influenza, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

WHO will continue to monitor the situation in China, but experts do not believe the illnesses are linked to novel pathogens, despite previous concerns.

The WHO requested information from China on Wednesday as several groups, including the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases, reported clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia in children in northern China.

WHO ASKS CHINA FOR DETAILS AFTER SPIKE OF RESPIRATORY ILLNESSES, CLUSTERS OF PNEUMONIA IN CHILDREN

WHO China hospital

Children and their parents wait at an outpatient area at a children hospital in Beijing. The World Health Organization asked China for more data on a respiratory illness spreading in the north of the country, urging people to take steps to reduce the risk of infection. ((Photo by Jade Gao / AFP)  (Photo by JADE GAO/AFP via Getty Images))

WHO has advised the people in China to follow measures to reduce the spread of such illnesses, including vaccination, keeping their distance from those who are ill, staying home when ill and wearing masks when appropriate.

China’s National Health Commission, in a written Q&A posted online by the official Xinhua News Agency, suggested Thursday that children with mild symptoms “first visit primary healthcare institutions or pediatrics departments of general hospitals” because large hospitals are crowded and have long waiting times.

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Scientists outside of China said the circumstances should be monitored but were not concerned that the surge was a sign of a new global outbreak.



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