Pneumonia clustering in China 'not a cause for alarm'

Map of China. (Image from Google Maps)
Map of China. (Image from Google Maps)

THE Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) on Friday, November 24, 2023, sought to allay fears stemming from the reported clustering of respiratory illnesses and pneumonia among children in China, saying it also occurred in the Philippines last September.

In a phone interview, PCP President Dr. Rontgene Solante said the public must not be worried that the wave of respiratory illnesses and pneumonia will also reach the country as there is nothing unusual in the disease.

"It's not a cause for alarm since we also experienced that this year, starting September, wherein children in most regions were affected," said Solante.

"This is a common occurrence, but only that it is extremely high number of affected children," he added.

Solante issued the statement after Chinese health authorities disclosed an increase in the incidence of respiratory diseases in China.

The cases in China were attributed to the circulation of known pathogens, such as influenza, mycoplasma pneumoniae, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and Covid-19.

For its part, the Department of Health (DOH) said it is already in communication with its Chinese counterparts to seek more information on the cases.

"The Department of Health, through its Epidemiology Bureau (EB), has reached out to the International Health Regulations (IHR) National Focal Point of China to request for more information regarding the matter," said the DOH.

"Rest assured that DOH-EB continues to closely monitor this event," it added.

Nevertheless, the health department urged the public to employ preventive measures against the said viruses.

These, the DOH said, include observing cough etiquette, masking, getting vaccinated, ensuring to stay home or isolate if ill, and seek early consultation when needed.

"We recommend that people follow measures to reduce the risk of respiratory illness," seconded Solante. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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