In China, an unknown respiratory illness is getting out of hand, which worries experts in the US, where respiratory illnesses are already rising quickly.
American hospitals are already seeing an unexpected rise in sick visits. Mostly in the south, emergency rooms are reporting a “flood” of patients. There have been “high” or “very high” rates of respiratory sickness in 10 US states, including Florida, Texas, New Mexico, New York City, and Puerto Rico.
The flu, COVID, RSV, or the common cold are all in this group. Most people are sick with fevers, coughs, and sore throats. People over 65 are most likely to be hospitalized with flu and COVID, and children are most likely to be hospitalized with RSV.
10 states in the US where the most cases are happening:
• Florida • Georgia • Alabama • Georgia • Florida • Texas • New Mexico • California • Colorado
The World Health Organization (WHO), on the other hand, is now looking at China, where hospitals and emergency rooms are also very busy with sick people. Videos have emerged of a mysterious respiratory sickness that seems to be mostly affecting children, even though Chinese health officials say the rise in illnesses is due to the flu and other known pathogens.
Following “an increase in respiratory illnesses and reported clusters of pneumonia in children,” the WHO asked China for information last week. Last Thursday, Chinese health officials told the WHO that they haven’t found any “unusual or novel diseases” yet.
The WHO says that experts from outside of China have asked that the situation be closely watched. The WHO is still not sure, though, that the rise means the start of a new global disease spread.
But this wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for the start of a new virus. New flu strains and other viruses that can cause a pandemic are generally first seen as groups of sick people who haven’t been diagnosed. For instance, Covid-19 was first described as a rare form of asthma.
Since May, China has seen a clear rise in the number of children who are sick with mycoplasma pneumoniae, a type of bacteria that causes mild respiratory illnesses. The WHO said that more Chinese children are getting RSV viral, flu, and COVID-19.
Still, there isn’t any strong evidence or proof that the rise in cases in China or the US means anything like that. The majority of cases reported in the US are thought to be either Covid-19 or the flu.
According to Good Morning America, it is standard for the number of cases to rise first in the south and then move north. Getting vaccinated is important, and anyone over 6 months old can get a Covid and Flu shot. People over the age of 60, women who are pregnant, and kids younger than 8 can also get RSV shots.