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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Nov 23, 2023  2 months, 3 weeks, 6 days, 23 hours, 55 minutes ago

‘New’ RSV Strain In China Infecting Children With Existing SARS-CoV-2 Impaired Innate Immunity, Paving The Way For Opportunistic Mycoplasma Pneumoniae!

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‘New’ RSV Strain In China Infecting Children With Existing SARS-CoV-2 Impaired Innate Immunity, Paving The Way For Opportunistic Mycoplasma Pneumoniae!
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Nov 23, 2023  2 months, 3 weeks, 6 days, 23 hours, 55 minutes ago
Medical News: In a concerning turn of events, a potential ‘new’ strain of the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is wreaking havoc among Chinese children, especially those with compromised immune systems due to prior exposure to the SARS-CoV virus. This onslaught on children's health is opening the door for opportunistic infections, particularly Mycoplasma pneumoniae, leading to severe outcomes and overwhelming hospitals across Beijing City and Liaoning province.

According to doctors from the Children’s Medical Centre at The Seventh Medical Center of The Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing-China, a ‘new’ RSV strain is causing a worse outcome in children this time as many already have an impaired innate immunity system as a result of previous exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The situation bears eerie similarities to a mid-year occurrence in various parts of Southern America, but the current cold spell in China is exacerbating the crisis.
Dr Zhou Huixia, director of The Children’s Medical Centre At The Seventh Medical Center Of The Chinese PLA General Hospital, told local Medical News reporters in China, “This wave of RSV infections have appeared particularly ferocious since the National Day holiday in early October,” she said. “Compared to previous years, we found more patients with mixed infections, drug resistance and lobar pneumonia.”
Reports from the ground indicate that hospitals are grappling with an unprecedented influx of sick children, prompting global concern among scientists and health organizations.
Hospitals Overwhelmed
Hospitals in Beijing and Liaoning are reportedly on the brink of collapse, with an overwhelming surge of children exhibiting symptoms of an undiagnosed pneumonia-like illness. An alert issued through ProMed, a prominent surveillance database, highlighted the alarming epidemic of undiagnosed pneumonia, leaving healthcare professionals scrambling to understand the scope and severity of the outbreak.
According to latest updates, the situation is also becoming bad in provinces like Zhejiang, Guandong, Shandong and Henan. Hospitals in these provinces are also starting to see an exponential rise in pediatric admissions.
Children are presenting with high fevers and lung inflammation, yet notably without a cough. A concerned Beijing citizen shared, "Many, many children are hospitalized. They don't cough and have no symptoms. They just have a high temperature, and many develop pulmonary nodules."
Dalian Children's Hospital in Liaoning province is also grappling with the crisis, as the lobby is reportedly filled with sick children requiring urgent medical attention. The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged China to provide more comprehensive data, expressing uncertainty about the association with previously reported respiratory infections.
Link to SARS-CoV-2 and Cold Spell Impact
Chinese health officials from the National Health Commission (NHC) recently addressed a surge in respiratory illnesses, connecting it to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and the immunity impairments caused by previous SAR-CoV-2 exposure and the resurgence of familiar pathogens, including influenza, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and the Respiratory Syncytial Virus…some with news strains.
The undiagnosed pneumonia outbreak, reminiscent of early COVID-19 days, is coinciding with a relentless cold spell in Beijing. Dr Wang Quanyi, deputy director and chief epidemiological expert at the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, noted, "Beijing is currently showing a trend of multiple pathogens coexisting."
This alarming situation has prompted a surge in hospital admissions, with the healthcare system at the brink of collapse. Parents and children are navigating crowded hospital corridors, and the possibility of school closures looms large as the outbreak intensifies.
WHO's Stance?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially requested more detailed information from China and issued a public health advisory, urging individuals to take measures to reduce their exposure risk. WHO's involvement echoes the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing the global significance of this mysterious outbreak.
As the situation unfolds, the WHO awaits more definitive information about the etiology and scope of this concerning illness in China. Meanwhile, the surge in Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections adds another layer to the complex public health challenge, highlighting potential gaps in immunity resulting from China's strict lockdown measures.
Local Chinese experts that the many new lineages of the RSV virus have emerged since late 2022 and have been in circulating globally and are still evolving.
Conclusion: A Chilling Crisis Unfolds
As the mysterious pneumonia-like illness continues to spread among children in China, the world watches with bated breath. The convergence of factors, from the potential new RSV strain to the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on children's immunity, creates a perfect storm that demands urgent attention and collaborative global efforts to mitigate the crisis. The coming days will be crucial in unraveling the mystery and implementing effective measures to safeguard the health and well-being of children in China and beyond.

Thailand Medical News wil be providing more updates on the developing situation in China and also details of the genomic analysis of the new RSV strains.
For the latest Medical News, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News

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