Undiagnosed pneumonia is spreading throughout schools in China.
According to the Daily Mail, the sickness is similar to traditional pneumonia but lacks a cough and other symptoms associated with respiratory illnesses.
A report from ProMed said that children’s hospitals in “Beijing, Liaoning and other places were overwhelmed with sick children, and schools and classes were on the verge of suspension. Parents questioned whether the authorities were covering up the epidemic.”
The report added that the “lobby of Dalian Children’s Hospital is full of sick children receiving intravenous drips. There are also queues of patients at the traditional Chinese medicine hospitals and the central hospital.”
“Patients have to wait in line for two hours, and we are all in the emergency department and there are no general outpatient clinics,” according to a staff member at Dalian Central Hospital.
In the editor’s note, ProMed wrote, “This report suggests a widespread outbreak of an undiagnosed respiratory illness in several areas in China as Beijing and Liaoning are almost 800 km apart. It is not at all clear when this outbreak started as it would be unusual for so many children to be affected so quickly. The report does not say that any adults were affected suggesting some exposure at the schools. ProMED awaits more definitive information about the etiology and scope of this concerning illness in China.”
“It is too early to project whether this could be another pandemic but as a wise influenza virologist once said to me, ‘The pandemic clock is ticking, we just do not know what time it is.”‘
The World Health Organization (WHO) requested information from China on the matter.
The illness comes as China removed its “Zero COVID” policy at the beginning of 2023.