Mysterious sickness hits children raising global concern

China, amidst recovering from the impactful aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, faces a potential health crisis: a mysterious pneumonia outbreak has overwhelmed hospitals with sick children, causing concern among global health experts.

The outbreak, centered in Beijing and Liaoning province, has inundated pediatric hospitals with an alarming influx of sick children. This severity led to the suspension of classes in certain schools, reminiscent of the initial days of the Covid-19 pandemic, as both students and teachers fell ill.

The affected children exhibit symptoms like high fever and lung inflammation, notably without a cough, typical of flu or respiratory viruses like RSV.

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Most cases of this mysterious pneumonia are concentrated in northeastern China, particularly in Beijing and Liaoning, straining available resources. The government is preparing to close schools due to the severity of the outbreak. ProMed Alert, a global disease monitoring system, issued a worldwide warning regarding this illness. Focusing on diseases in humans and animals worldwide, the organization highlighted the emergence of this disease, especially among children.

Notably, ProMED Alert had previously issued an early warning in late December 2019 about a new virus, later identified as SARS-CoV-2. This alert prompted immediate attention from high-ranking officials, medical professionals at the World Health Organization, and a cohort of scientists.

While ProMed Alert flagged an unknown disease impacting respiratory functions, the agency couldn’t pinpoint the exact outbreak commencement. Additionally, the reports didn’t mention any adults affected by this ailment, solely focusing on impacted children.

The World Health Organization (WHO) urged China to provide comprehensive information following startling reports of this disease. WHO revealed that China had notified local media about the disease on November 13, 2023. They have requested China to closely monitor cases associated with this illness and provide additional information, as ProMed reported its spread in North China on November 21.

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