World Health Organization official: The rise in respiratory diseases in China is not higher than it was before the epidemic
by aparodyoflife ·
SHANGHAI, Nov 27 (Reuters) – A World Health Organization official said the surge in respiratory illnesses China is currently experiencing is not as high as before the COVID-19 pandemic, reiterating that no new or unusual pathogens have been found. In the last years. cases.
Maria Van Kerkhove, acting director of the WHO’s Department of Epidemic Preparedness and Prevention, said the increase appeared to be driven by a rise in the number of children becoming infected with pathogens they had avoided during two years of Covid restrictions.
“We asked about comparisons before the pandemic. And the waves they’re seeing now, the peak is not as high as they saw in 2018-2019,” Van Kerkhove told health news outlet STAT in an interview on Friday.
She added, “This is not an indication of a new pathogen. This is expected. This is what most countries dealt with a year or two ago.”
Chinese National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said on Sunday that the increase in acute respiratory diseases is linked to the simultaneous spread of several types of pathogens, most notably influenza.
The rise became a global problem last week when the World Health Organization asked China for more information, citing a report on clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia in children prepared by the Emerging Diseases Surveillance Programme.
China and the World Health Organization faced questions about the transparency of reporting early on in the epidemic that emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. The World Health Organization said on Friday that no new or unusual pathogens had been found in recent illnesses.
Health officials on Sunday urged local authorities to increase the number of fever clinics, as hospitals warned of long waiting times in northern regions such as Beijing and Liaoning province where cases among children appear to be particularly high.
New cases of the respiratory disease, which is spread by young people in the workplace and children at school, could peak in the next two weeks, Li Tongzeng, chief physician of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Beijing You’an Hospital, told the Global Times.
In the report published on Monday, Li also warned of the possibility of a second wave peaking during the New Year holiday, when elderly people could become more at risk of infection during family gatherings.
Andrew Silver reports; Edited by Myung Kim, Miral Fahmy, and Simon Cameron-Moore
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Obtaining licensing rights