Reports of Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Cases Arise in European Countries

Reports of Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Cases Arise in European Countries

Following the outbreak in China, several European countries have seen an alarming increase in mycoplasma pneumoniae cases.

Understanding Mycoplasma Pneumoniae

Mycoplasma pneumonia is a bacterial infection that attacks the human respiratory system. It lacks a cell wall, making it resistant to common antibiotics. The bacteria can sometimes cause more severe lung infections, requiring hospital care.

It destroys the lining of the respiratory system including the lungs, throat, and windpipe, causing illness. The bacteria may stay in people’s noses or throats at one time without showing any symptoms of infection.

The bacteria disperse when someone sneezes or coughs. Respiratory droplets containing the harmful organism spread in the air, affecting other people. Professionals refer to this type of pneumonia as “atypical” or “walking pneumonia” since they are milder and don’t usually require hospitalisations.

An inflicted person experiences coughing, fever, sore throat, and other respiratory symptoms. Generally, the incubation period lasts between two to three weeks.

Children are Mostly Affected

Doctors believe that mycoplasma pneumoniae is the main culprit behind the hospitalisation of numerous children in China. Infected children flooded wards, surpassing the medical facility’s capacity while others waited outside hoping they could get accommodated.

Beijing Children’s Hospital is at its full capacity for two months, admitting 9378 new patients each day. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is already keeping track of the undiagnosed child pneumonia in children’s hospitals in Beijing, including Liaoning and other places in China.

In the middle of October, northern China revealed a rise in “influenza-like illnesses.” Thinking it might be a new pandemic, people started wearing face masks and hazmat suits.

“That is a very common phenomenon in many countries, and in China that has been put under effective control. “China’s interactions with the international community will not be affected by any factors, and we welcome more visits from friends from across the world,” said China Foreign Minister, Wang Yi.

Lung Disease Reported in European Countries

Many European countries are currently experiencing a sharp rise in mycoplasma pneumoniae cases among children. According to Denmark health officials, the rates have already reached “epidemic” levels. Denmark’s Statens Serum Institut stated the percentage had proliferated over the past several weeks, expecting the number of cases to inflate more in winter.

The report came after the Netherlands indicated a surge in the number of children infected with pneumonia, which also has similar cases in Sweden. Antibiotics such as penicillin can’t kill the bacteria, but using tetracyclines, fluoroquinolones, or macrolides may help.

“For the past four years, the number of mycoplasma infections has been extremely low, and it is therefore not unusual that we have an epidemic now. We have actually been waiting for it since we closed the country after the Covid pandemic,” said Hanne-Dorthe Emborg, SSI senior researcher.

Countries and governments enforced lockdowns to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection in the past years. It aimed to hinder the spread of other bugs, however, it left countries and their people, especially children vulnerable to larger outbreaks. The infection was likewise called the “white lung syndrome” due to how the lung damage shows in the scan.

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