Is the Pneumonia Outbreak in China Similar to COVID-19? Here's What Reports Say
In a recent respiratory illness outbreak in China, there has been a sudden increase in the number of pneumonia cases. It highlights a scenario similar to what happened a few years back in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although, several pneumonia like cases in children have raised concerns but Chinese officials have claimed that there is nothing much to worry about.
According to experts, the surge in this respiratory illness is not because of some novel pathogen but because it is the effect of some common pathogen.
The Pneumonia Situation in China
There have been various reports in social media as well as from local outlets about the hospital wards being occupied in several regions of Beijing.
The Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases has issued a notice regarding this pneumonia like undiagnosed respiratory illness, which has been spreading at a very high rate across various regions around China. This rapid spreading has been observed especially in children and the elderly.
The main reason behind the concern of this outbreak is due to the fact that something similar happened in late 2019 before the pandemic. It has raised concerns among the citizens.
Further, the exact origin behind the outbreak is not yet clear.
What China Has to Say About the Pneumonia Outbreak?
In dealing with the outbreak, China has taken several measures. They have opened more fever clinics and have asked the children and elderly to mask up as well as to keep up with the vaccinations.
The Chinese officials have acknowledged the surge in the cases in their press conference. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has asked for more transparency considering the adversities of late 2019.
Further, the officials claimed that the outspread is simply due to a combination of influenza and other known pathogens.
Mi Feng, the spokesperson for China’s National Health Commission, said at the conference:
“According to the analysis, acute respiratory diseases in China have continued to rise recently, which is related to the superposition of multiple respiratory pathogens.”
Dealing with the Spreading Disease
After WHO representatives met with health officials in China, they confirmed that there is nothing much to worry about and there is no new form of COVID. The officials confirmed that the reason behind this outbreak has been because of the opening of lockdowns.
Other countries faced a similar situation when the lockdown was eased out in the aftermath of COVID-19. This is called immunity debt where due to social distancing and masks the immunity towards pathogens weakens. This could also be a plausible theory for what happened in China's recent pneumonia outbreak.
However, it is better to maintain hygiene and healthy practices in order to safeguard yourself from such outbreaks.
To prevent yourself or your loved ones from getting pneumonia, the first and foremost step is to get vaccinated. This will reduce your chances of getting it in the first place.
Maintaining a good hygiene routine which includes washing hands regularly, and maintaining social distancing in public can further minimize your risk of exposure.
Following a healthy lifestyle and tackling a cold early on can effectively reduce your risks of getting pneumonia.
Thus, in short, this situation is not much to be worried about as the WHO and the Chinese officials have affirmed that the situation is under control.