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What is white lung pneumonia? (image by prostooleh on freepik)

Understanding White Lung Pneumonia and Its Spread among Children in Ohio

In recent months, doctors have reportedly found a sudden increase in pediatric pneumonia cases, which has led healthcare doctors to express their concerns about white lung syndrome. While it is apparently spreading quickly, “white lung” is not a specific type of pneumonia. It is, however, described so because of its appearance on chest X-rays.

More recently, this pneumonia has become a cause of concern after Ohio diagnosed over 145 children, ranging from 3 to 14 years, with this medical condition. This development in Ohio is allegedly similar to the rise in pediatric pneumonia cases in China, although Ohio’s Warren County Health District has disagreed with this comparison, claiming that the two cases are not related.


More about the News Concerning White Lung Pneumonia

Bacteria are the most common cause of white lung pneumonia (image by freepik on freepik)

A similar type of medical emergency has occurred in China, as has been confirmed by several reports. However, in a news release, Ohio’s Warren County Health District stressed in their statement:

“There has been zero evidence of this outbreak being connected to other outbreaks, either statewide, nationally, or internationally.”

It has been possible to treat the cases of white lung pneumonia at home with antibiotics. Furthermore, the course of treatment showed success in the recovery of children suffering from it.

What Is White Lung Pneumonia?

“White lung” is not a specific medical term (image by prostooleh on freepik)

Dr. Ganjian, a board-certified pediatrician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, has confirmed that white lung pneumonia is not a specific kind of pneumonia.

“It is a non-specific term that has been used to describe pneumonia that appears white on chest X-rays”

Pneumonia is caused due to some fluid build-up in the areas of the lungs and visible as a white substance in X-rays. Further, according to Dr. Thomas Russo, a professor and chief of infectious diseases at the University at Buffalo in New York, one of the most common causes of pneumonia is bacteria.

“Bacteria is the most common cause of seeing this white on a chest X-ray, but you can also see this on a chest X-ray if someone has pneumonia from RSV, COVID, or influenza”

However, there are many more reasons that can cause white lung pneumonia. Gustavo Cumbo-Nacheli, M.D., is a pulmonologist with Corewell Health, who explained other causes of the condition, saying:

“Many conditions could affect the respiratory system and cause abnormal 'whitening' of some lung areas.”

Symptoms and Treatment of White Lung Pneumonia

Symptoms of white lung pneumonia mostly depend on the cause of the condition. Some of the common causes are loss of appetite, nausea, chest pain, irregular breathing, puking, confusion in older people, and many more, according to the American Lung Association.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) suggest antibiotics for bacterial pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and mycoplasma, and antiviral medication for pneumonia caused by adenovirus.

Fungal pneumonia can be treated by specific antifungal medicines, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If the condition becomes serious, one should be hospitalized and given IV antibiotics, oxygen therapy, and ventilator support.

Thus, it is likely that the increasing number of cases in Ohio concerning pediatric pneumonia can be cured at home by antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungal medications. However, it is advised to seek proper medical advice from doctors if the condition gets severe.


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Edited by
Susrita Das
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