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China’s Pneumonia Outbreak Showing Signs Of Drug Resistance

The formerly mysterious outbreak in China is showing signs of drug resistance. China’s illness in children is known as “walking pneumonia” and it’s most often a rather mild respiratory condition.

An outbreak of walking pneumonia struck millions of children in China during the second half of 2023, creating “COVID-19 flashbacks” and raising fears about another novel pathogen. People have become concerned that the ruling class is going to shut down businesses and schools again amidst the new outbreak. But doctors say another real danger is the rise of “superbugs”, crafted by drug resistance that’s been building for years and rendering life-saving antibiotics less effective.

Superbugs Kill More Than 30,000 Europeans Every Year

According to a report by Business Standard, Rachel Qiao said her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter came down with a fever, cough, and runny nose during the thick of Beijing’s sweltering summer. Initially, rising bacterial infections caused by mycoplasma pneumoniae didn’t trigger worry, as other countries had similar experiences with different germs after they eased pandemic-control measures.

But as things took a turn for the worse, Qiao said “I melted down. I was constantly stupefied by how much worse this thing could go.”

While authorities now say there is a “fluctuating downtrend” in respiratory ailments, parents remain anxious as colder weather sets in. Waiting times in the country’s top pediatric medical centers last month stretched to more than seven hours and some parents brought in their own hooks to hang infusion bags full of medicine on hallway walls as hospitals ran out of space. –Business Standard

Ruling Classes Blame “Multiple Pathogens” For Mysterious Pneumonia Outbreak In China

Nearly 80% of cases of mycoplasma pneumonia are resistant to macrolides, a class of drug that includes Pfizer Inc.’s Zithromax given to Qiao’s daughter, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open in 2022. The proportion of drug-resistant cases was less than 10% in Europe, America, and Southeast Asia.

“If the antibiotic no longer works, the illness will stretch out longer,” said Zuo-Feng Zhang, chair of epidemiology at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. That increases the risk of spread and the outsized outbreaks that are occurring, he said.

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