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India on High Alert as Mysterious Pneumonia Grips China; Health Ministry Monitors Situation

In the wake of a sudden surge in mysterious pneumonia cases among children in China, India’s Union Health Ministry announced on Friday that the country is closely monitoring the situation in its neighbouring nation.

The Health Ministry said that there is a low risk to India from the reported avian influenza cases in China, including the clusters of respiratory illness.

In an official press release, the Union Health Ministry stated, “We are closely monitoring the reported outbreak of H9N2 cases and clusters of respiratory illness in children in northern China.”

The ministry also cited the World Health Organization (WHO) in asserting that there has been no identification of an unusual pathogen or any unexpected clinical manifestations related to the rise in respiratory illness among children.

The recent meeting chaired by the Directorate General Of Health Services (DGHS) discussed the preparedness measures taken against human cases of Avian Influenza in India. This discussion was prompted by a human case of H9N2 (Avian influenza virus) reported to the WHO in October 2023 in China.

The WHO, according to the Health Ministry, has indicated a low probability of the human-to-human spread of H9N2.

China, having recently recovered from the impact of COVID-19, is now facing a surge in pneumonia cases among children. Reports suggest a notable increase in hospitalizations, coinciding with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and the resurgence of well-known pathogens, including influenza and mycoplasma pneumonia.

China officials explained that mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria, which primarily targets the young population, is responsible for mild respiratory infections. However, in some cases, it can lead to serious lung infections requiring hospitalization, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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