WHO asked China about a mysterious disease pneumonia, as hospitals are fill with sick children

The WHO has sought more information from China about a disease affecting children.

Chinese officials reported a rising number of respiratory illnesses earlier this month.

Reports of “undiagnosed pneumonia” in children in northern China circulated on 21 November.

The World Health Organization asked China for “detailed information” about the respiratory disease affecting children in the north of the country.

According to a statement released on Wednesday, the organization requested “additional epidemiological and clinical information” after reports of “uncontrolled pneumonia” spreading among children.

The surge in cases has led to overcrowding in clinics and emergency rooms, the South China Morning Post reported, citing social-media posts. Hospitals in northern China appear to be “overwhelmed with sick children,” NBC News reports.

The WHO statement said Chinese authorities attributed the increase in cases to “the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and the spread of influenza, mycoplasma pneumoniae (a common bacterial infection that typically affects young children), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV ), and SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).”

Chinese officials have since said no new or unusual pathogens are causing the illnesses, the South China Morning Post reported.

Children and their parents wait in an outpatient area at a children’s hospital in Beijing on November 23, 2023. The World Health Organization has asked China on November 23, 2023 for more data on the respiratory disease spreading in the north of the country. People should take steps to reduce the risk of infection.

China faced additional scrutiny over the news as it refreshed memories of its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to the report, the ongoing problem of drug-resistance from overuse of antibiotics has helped spread the diseases caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria, health experts said.

According to the CDC, Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria usually cause “mild infections of the respiratory system,” but they can sometimes cause more serious problems that may require hospital treatment.

The agency says good hygiene is important to prevent spreading the bacteria to others.

WHO suggested people in China follow specific steps to reduce the risk of infection, including “recommended vaccinations; maintaining distance from sick people; staying home when sick; testing and seeking medical care as needed; appropriate “This includes wearing a mask; ensuring good ventilation; and washing hands regularly.”