WHO warns of new outbreak: Wants China to immediately provide detailed information

Written by Henrik Rothen

Nov.23 - 2023 8:14 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
WHO warns of new outbreak.

Trending Now

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for China to urgently provide detailed information regarding the significant outbreaks reported in the country. The demand comes amid reports of widespread infections, particularly among children.

"The exact onset of this outbreak is unclear, as it is unusual for so many children to be affected so rapidly," emphasizes the international public health organization ProMED, as reported by CNN. The predominance of infections in children suggests "some exposure in schools," the organization further explains.

Mysterious cases – No diagnosis

The cases remain undiagnosed, and it is known only that they involve some form of respiratory illness. "Chinese authorities have attributed this increase to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and the circulation of known pathogens like influenza," WHO informed in a press briefing.

Restrictions related to Mycoplasma pneumoniae, a common bacterial infection that often affects younger children, and the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) might have facilitated these new, unidentified illnesses.

No speculation yet

Clusters of undiagnosed cases of some form of pneumonia in children have also been reported in Northern China. "However, it is not clear if these are related to the respiratory infections," reports CNN.

ProMED states that they are awaiting more information on the extent of the situation but that it is too early to speculate or present any prognosis for the development.

Demanding China's cooperation

WHO has already taken action. In the mentioned press conference, they demand that China provide both epidemiological and clinical information about what is known regarding the disease outbreaks. The organization also seeks laboratory results from the cluster reports and details about observed trends in pathogen circulation.

Additionally, WHO demands that China openly report the impact of the outbreak on the country's health and medical care systems.

Urging precautions

WHO has also communicated advisories to people in China to take precautionary measures. The aim is clear: to reduce the risk of respiratory diseases. The population is also encouraged to take recommended vaccine doses, stay home when sick, wear masks around others, and wash hands regularly.

Most Read