A mysterious children's respiratory illness reported to be spreading worldwide and causing concern is reported to have spiked in Massachusetts and Ohio, the Daily Mail reports.
Warren County, Ohio is reporting 142 pediatric cases of the disease dubbed 'white lung syndrome' since August, which has officially reached the Ohio Department of Health's criteria of an outbreak. Western Massachusetts physicians have also reported "a whole lot" of walking pneumonia cases, which is considered to be a milder form of the lung condition, but is caused by a mixture of bacterial and viral infections.
Earlier this week, the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research reported 80 of every 100,000 children between the ages of 5 and 14 had experienced cases of pneumonia last week, marking the largest outbreak of pneumonia that the Utrecht institute has recorded in recent years, according to TheMessenger.com. NU.nl, a Netherlands news outlet, said neither NIVEL nor the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, which is the Dutch equivalent of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, could explain the cause of the recent spike in pneumonia cases.
China is also reported to be experiencing a significant uptick in pediatric pneumonia cases with reports of children's hospitals in Beijing and Liaoning being overrun with patients last week. Chinese officials told the World Health Organization that the outbreak was suspected to have been caused by known seasonal viruses such as the flu and RSV, as well as the bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae, rather than new pathogens, as is the case in Europe and the U.S.
Officials claimed that lifting strict COVID measures in late 2022 left the population vulnerable to annual viruses and the nation is now being battered by its first flu season since the change. Others, however, fear that Chinese officials are covering up the early stages in an epidemic almost exactly four years after the country was criticized for its initial response to the coronavirus.