Pneumonia in China, what the authorities say about the boom in respiratory infections

“Mainly influenza, and mycoplasma pneumoniae, adenovirus and Rsv are also detected, Covid is decreasing”

As monitoring systems and hospitals across China report an increase in respiratory infectious diseases that is also bringing with it higher numbers of pneumonia in children (particularly reported from some areas), public health departments and medical institutions of the Asian giant are implementing measures to address the situation. But what do the country’s health authorities say in response to the most frequently asked questions what are they asked? First of all, the National Health Commission (NHC) takes stock of the pathogens that are causing this boom in infections. “They are known epidemic pathogens – reiterate the Chinese experts – Mainly the influenza virus. While mycoplasma pneumoniae, adenovirus and respiratory syncytial virus (Rsv) are also detected“.

A press conference was also held on Sunday to take stock of what is known. Speaking about the risk of contracting multiple pathogens at the same time, Tong Zhaohui, vice president of Beijing Chao-Yang Hospital, pointed out that it is normal for a patient to show positive results for two or three microbes at the same time in winter, as respiratory infections have always been prevalent during this season. However, Tong also noted that although patients can test positive for multiple pathogens, the actual disease is in most cases caused by only one of them.

Another question was what role does Covid-19 play in the current increase in respiratory diseases. And the NHC’s response was that the number of positive tests for the virus in question in the so-called ‘fever clinics’ and in hospitals remains constantly decreasing. Furthermore, the commission added, China is still conducting regular monitoring of the virus, with no new strains having been detected. As for the response to these respiratory infections, the NHC has “instructed local entities to ensure the implementation of diagnoses and treatments and to provide information on medical facilities offering pediatric services and fever clinics”, said Mi Feng, spokesperson for the Commission. “Regional health authorities are also urged to open more relevant clinics and treatment areas, adequately extend service hours, ensure drug supplies, and make full use of the role of traditional Chinese medicine, while emphasizing the importance of effective response to the epidemic in schools, nurseries, nursing homes and other key locations with dense populations.”

Online diagnosis and assistance are also being promoted, taking advantage of hospital web platforms to create channels. What can the population do to avoid infection and receive timely medical services? At yesterday’s briefing, Mi Feng called on people to stick to usual infection precautions, such as wearing masks, washing hands and regularly ventilating their homes. “Vaccination remains an effective, safe, convenient and economical measure against infectious diseases,” noted Wang Huaqing, an expert from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

In case of minor symptoms in the little ones, Wang Quan, an expert from Beijing Children’s Hospital, advises parents to take care of the child at home or go to primary care facilities for treatment, so as to avoid possible cross-infection at the main hospitals.