Mysterious Children's Respiratory Illness Spreads Worldwide

Sick girl lying on bed in ICU during COVID-19

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A mysterious children's respiratory illness is reported to be spreading worldwide and causing concern.

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, reports., 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.

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.

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