China is on high alert after warnings of an undiagnosed pneumonia outbreak swept Beijing causing chaos in hospitals.
Pediatric hospitals in Beijing, including Beijing Children’s Hospital, are said to be “overwhelmed with sick children” and many schools have been suspended.
In a thread of posts on social media site X, Dr Eric Feigl-Ding warned people of this growing outbreak and showed a video of the serious overcrowding in hospitals.
The video shows hundreds of people lining up on the street outside the hospital, everyone wearing facemasks, while inside people hold their sick children waiting for help.
The WHO is now also involved and seemingly worried about the true number of patients with the unknown pneumonia.
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On Tuesday night, an alert went out on ProMed warning people of an unknown “walking pneumonia” that causes patients to experience a high fever and pulmonay nodes, but no coughing. Since then, Beijing’s hospitals are now “full of kids” on IV drips.
And it’s not just kids who are getting sick. Teachers are also getting infected from their students, causing some schools to close entirely. Children are being told to go to hospital immediately if they experience any of the above symptoms, and to stay away from school.
The infection is also spreading rapidly. There have been many confirmed cases in Beijing and Liaoning which are nearly 500 miles apart.
Dr Feigal-Ding, who has already labeled it an epidemic, wrote: “The pandemic clock is ticking, were just don’t know what time it is.”
But it is still unclear how and when the outbreak started. The editor of ProMed said in the alert: “It would be unusual for so many children to be affected so quickly.” Dr Feigl-Ding called this “worrisome”.
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Dr Feigal-Ding also stressed that “this new outbreak is not mild” making it even harder to get a more specific diagnosis. He wrote: “Maybe it’s a new virus or maybe it’s a nasty antibiotic-resistant bacteria.”
Dr Feigal-Ding also recieved direct reports from Chinese locals inside the overcrowded hospitals. One even went so far as to call the police to the hospital after nobody waiting for treatment moved for a whole hour.
According to Chinese CDC, a tenth of patients with the new pneumonia are coming from out of town because their local hospitals are so overrun and they do not have any spare equipment to give the sick children.
China Daily is blaming the outbreak on “influenza, rhinovirus, and respiarity syncytial virus,” while refusing to acknowledge what the source of the outbreak might be, which Dr Feigal-Ding suggested could be a “coverup”.
The WHO is now awaiting more information from China on the outbreak, while Dr Feigl-Ding “prays[s] it’s not an avian flu that jumped to humans.”
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