Wednesday, November 29, 2023

How China's Pneumonia Outbreak Compares to COVID Pandemic Origins; China's COVID Trauma Returns As Hazmat Workers Disinfect Streets, and other C-Virus related stories

AFP via Getty Images/Jade Goa
How China's Pneumonia Outbreak Compares to COVID Pandemic Origins:
A surge in respiratory illnesses across China, including clusters of pneumonia in children, is not caused by a novel virus, Chinese and World Health Organization officials said.
The WHO recently formally requested that China provide more information about a potentially concerning spike in respiratory illnesses across the country, citing a report on clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia in children by the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases.
New flu strains or other viruses capable of triggering pandemics typically emerge as undiagnosed clusters of respiratory illness. Both COVID-19 and SARS were first reported as unusual types of pneumonia.
Both Chinese authorities and the WHO have faced accusations of a lack of transparency in their initial reports on the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the acting director of the WHO's Department of Epidemic and Pandemic Preparedness and Prevention, said no new or unusual pathogens had been reported in the recent illnesses. She said the recent cases appear to be driven by a rise in the number of children contracting pathogens in China's first full winter since the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. --->READ MORE HERE
Noah Celis/AFP via Getty Images
China's COVID Trauma Returns As Hazmat Workers Disinfect Streets:
Public health workers wearing full protective gear have appeared on the streets of northern China, according to footage on social media, evoking memories of the country's stringent anti-virus measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hazmat-clad personnel were seen spraying disinfectant in public spaces in Sanhe, in China's northern Hebei Province roughly 50 miles east of capital Beijing, according to the poster of the images and video footage. It remains unclear whether this was a local government initiative or central government directive.
The reemergence of the gear, however, has raised speculation about the potential return of pandemic-era restrictions amid a surge of respiratory illnesses, notably among children, which has strained hospitals in the region. The outbreak is being closely watched by the World Health Organization, the agency said last week.
In the past days, China's state-controlled media have reported on hospitals in Beijing, Tianjin and other northern areas operating at maximum capacity. Beijing Children's Hospital alone reported admitting over 7,000 daily cases, one report said.
Patients said they experienced closed outpatient clinics and long lines, some enduring waits of a day or longer at emergency departments.
On Douyin, the Chinese version of the short video-sharing platform TikTok, videos showed disease prevention teams disinfecting a classroom and city streets while dressed from head to toe in hazmat suits.
Termed "dabai," literally "big white [figures]," the hazmat workers became a symbol of China's unpopular "zero-COVID" policies that triggered rare anti-government protests late last year. Their appearance has unsettled observers online. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

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USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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