Home Health & Fitness Is China mixing up its response to cold and flu?

Is China mixing up its response to cold and flu?

Is China mixing up its response to cold and flu?


Concerned regarding the rise in pediatric respiratory illnesses, particularly in the north, that the WHO has been tracking as October, the World Health Organization (WHO) requested information and data from China last week. (Also read: Odd pneumonia outbreak in China: everything you need to know from symptoms to preventive advice)

Families who are anxiously waiting for hours or days within long lines for a doctor have been occupying a lot hospital waiting areas in various parts of China lately days. (AFP/Jade Gao)

According to a WHO report made public after the emergency meeting held on Thursday, Chinese medical professionals informed the WHO which the illnesses are brought about by “known germs” and are only affecting kids.

According to the report, China has been experiencing a prolonged outbreak of various pathogens, such as influenza, a virus known as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), as well as mycoplasma pneumoniae, which is the bacterium that causes pneumonia.

Chinese medical professionals were quoted as saying that an increase within respiratory illnesses is not causing the number of patients to go above hospital ability.”

Hospital lines and anxious parents

However, images of crowded Beijing hospital waiting areas and accounts of nervous parents waiting for days or hours in lengthy lineups to see a doctor circulated in social media in the weeks preceding the WHO’s ask to Chinese officials.

Early within November, China’s government-owned CCTV released a report alerting viewers to the expanding pneumonia caused by mycoplasma outbreak.

According to the WHO report, China’s National Health Commission announced at an event for journalists on November 13 that there has been a national rise in “respiratory illnesses, that impact kids.”

Chinese authorities attributed the surge in numbers to a combination of eased COVID-19 restrictions and the advent of the winter season, as per the statement provided.

Chinese officials demanded in Sunday that “a lot more flu clinics” be opened throughout the nation in order to handle the increase in patients seeking care. In order to prevent infections from spreading throughout the medical facility, flu clinics are set up in emergency rooms of hospitals in China.

A portion of the issue involves healthcare professionals sending messages.

A rise in respiratory diseases has caused public notification across the nation as well as around the globe, even though Chinese medical professionals as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) have stated that the increase in cold and flu instances is “not unforeseen.”

The current state of affairs has brought back memories of both China and the WHO facing criticism for their lack of transparency in releasing health information at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, that started in the Chinese city for Wuhan in the center of the country in late 2019.

The negative communication to Chinese health officials, according to Dong-Yan Jin, a precision medicine professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, has led the electricity anxiety and disorientation among sick children and their parents in China.

Jin told DW that health officials ” did not do an adequate job at a press meeting” on Nov. 13 in terms of elucidating for the Chinese public or the international community the information regarding the discrepancies and dire prognosis of the cold and flu outbreaks under discussion.

“This makes people anxious in general. He explained that numerous grandparents escort their grandchildren to medical appointments out of a mix of worry and bewilderment about the circumstances.

Doctors’ and patients’ complaints about local hospitals being overcrowded are partially caused by issues with China’s healthcare system, according to Jin.

In situations where a child is experiencing a high fever, individuals rush to the nearest medical facility, often spending hours or even days seeking professional medical care. Jin emphasized that this is the typical approach for obtaining medical attention in such cases.

Since the news conference gave the idea that this is serious, it continues to get more serious. Anyone is concerned about their kids because they did not adequately inform the public about this. Many patients can get by without visiting the hospital. the hospital,” he continued.

The term “pneumonia” within “mycoplasma pneumoniae,” according to Jin, additionally evoked fear in people, despite the fact that many patients have “very mild” symptoms or are asymptomatic and do not need to be hospitalized.

Pneumonia only develops in 3–10% of mycoplasma infections. Even in the tiny percentage of cases where pneumonia does occur, it is rare as well as the prognosis is excellent,” he stated.

Less respiratory illnesses than before COVID

In an interview published in the last week of November on the medical news website STAT, Maria Van Kerkhove, the interim head at the WHO’s division of epidemic preparedness as well as prevention, stated that the prevalence of asthma among China’s youth is currently lower than it was prior to the coronavirus. A major catastrophe.

Additionally, according to Kerkhove, hospitals across China “don’t comprehend” and the bulk of visits are for flu clinics and outpatient care rather than intensive care units (ICUs), which were prevalent during the epidemic.

Additionally, according to Professor Jin, there are fewer cases of the flu and cold in China now than there were in 2017 or 2018.

He mentioned that whether it’s the common cold, mycoplasma bacteria pneumoniae, or RSV, along with other viruses, the severity remains unchanged compared to before.

How come? upcoming events

China has respiratory infections as well as flu monitoring systems. In accordance with the World Health Organization, “China has set up improved monitoring programs over respiratory illnesses encompassing an extensive range of breathing infections caused by bacteria and viruses, including mycoplasma bacteria Pneumonia.”

The Global Times was informed by Li Tongzeng, a senior physician at Beijing You’an Hospital’s infectious diseases department, that there may be a rise in the number of new respiratory disease cases in the coming weeks.

Jin did note, though, that because of China’s vastness, the duration of a cold or flu outbreak can vary by several weeks amongst northern Chinese cities.

He continued by saying that there will be a bigger disparity in cases in northern and southern China, in which data indicates that the number of cases of the flu and cold is currently rising above baseline scales.

He underscored the necessity for regional CDCs to divulge particular details, aiming to alleviate public anxieties concerning global affairs.