Child Pneumonia Outbreaks in China Spark COVID-19 Fears
A widespread outbreak of “undiagnosed pneumonia” cases is sweeping China, and it’s mostly affecting children, raising fears that it’s a new wave of COVID-19.
The dire situation is triggering concerns from a global health authority:
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization gave China a 24-hour deadline to provide crucial details about the situation.
China has been battling a jump in mysterious respiratory illnesses for months.
Hospitals across the country are overwhelmed with sick children.
A pediatric hospital in Beijing reports seeing over 7-thousand patients a day.
A video shared online shows another hospital in Beijing at midnight still crowded with parents and children seeking treatment.
“Our whole family is sick, all four of them, and the hospital is full,” said Mr. Sun, a resident in Beijing. “My son had a fever of over 39 degrees Celsius and was tested for four pathogens, including mycoplasma pneumonia, influenza A, and COVID-19.”
There is no official explanation for the exact cause of the illness.
Doctors in China have reported this year’s flu wave seems worse than years past.
They say it’s unclear when the pneumonia outbreak started, but that it’s “unusual for so many children to be affected so quickly.”
The situation in China’s northern Liaoning Province is also getting serious.
In an online post, a local health worker revealed that a staggering 9 out of 12 people in her department are grappling with high fevers.
Calling it “too scary,” she describes the situation as “almost the same as when COVID-19 restrictions were just lifted.”
Since Beijing abandoned its “zero-COVID-19” policy earlier this year, officials have linked China’s surge in respiratory illnesses to non-COVID-19-related diseases.
Now some residents are questioning whether the regime is using that as a cover up, to hide new waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It feels like another COVID-19 outbreak, but they’re saying it’s influenza. I suspect it might be a mutated COVID-19 variant,” said Mr. Wang, a resident in Beijing. “The data hasn’t been shared with the public. And now, reporting isn’t allowed—everything’s being kept under wraps. Medical care is falling behind, and children’s hospitals can’t take in [any more] patients. Parents are getting more and more concerned.”
Another Beijing resident Mr. Ma said: “They [the CCP] won’t tell you anything about the virus. I’ve got some medicine ready. If I feel even a bit unwell, I’ll take it right away.”
China has faced scrutiny in the past about the transparency of its medical reporting.
Particularly during the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan.
A study by the British University of Southampton found 95 percent of COVID-19’s global spread could have been reduced if China intervened earlier.
Just last week, a top Chinese epidemiologist warned another wave of COVID-19 could hit China soon.
According to online posts, at least one child has died of pneumonia during the current wave.
Reports have also suggested authorities are blocking related information online.
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