Experts said that respiratory viruses and bacteria are likely the reason behind the increase in pneumonia among children in a county in Ohio. Medical authorities disclosed that there was an “extremely high” number of pneumonia cases among kids this fall in Warren County in Ohio.
They said that there is no proof or evidence that these cases are tied to an unusual or unknown cause. So far, medical experts noted that they have been attributed to known respiratory pathogens.
(Photo : Getty Images/Jade Gao)
The Warren County Health District has already reiterated, as stated in a previous media release, that the increase in reported pneumonia cases is not suspected of being a new novel respiratory virus but rather a large uptick in the number of typical pediatric pneumonia cases.
Officials said that there has been zero evidence of this outbreak being connected to other outbreaks, either statewide, nationally or internationally. At this time, there were 145 reported cases of pneumonia in children ages 3 years -14 years.
Fortunately, there have been no reported deaths among the children. While the number of cases is higher this year, the severity is similar when it comes to the previous years. Experts said that most cases recover at home and are treated with antibiotics.
The information was shared so that individuals would be aware of illness in the community and take necessary steps to protect their health such as washing their hands, covering cough, staying home when ill and staying up to date on vaccines.
Medical officials pointed out that it is not uncommon for respiratory illnesses to spread in the community during this time of year. They said that following these basic precautions will help protect the public and their respective families.
In addition to M. pneumoniae, clinical samples taken from the sick children have tested positive for Streptococcus pneumoniae and for adenoviruses.
Further, there are also common respiratory bugs. Symptoms of the infections have included cough, fever and fatigue.
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The WCHD has been working with the Ohio Department of Health, local children’s hospitals and primary care providers in hopes to further prevent the spread of illness.
One recommendation is for providers to have a lower threshold to test children presenting with cough, fever and/or fatigue and consider nasopharyngeal swabs for respiratory viruses, mycoplasma and pertussis.
On the other hand, the WCHD sent out a notification with education to Warren County providers last week in an effort to further clarify the nature of the outbreak.
They said that as we approach the holiday season, when many of us will be gathering together with family and friends, the public must remember to take necessary precautions to protect their health: wash your hands, cover your cough, stay home when ill, and stay up to date on vaccines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the amount of respiratory illness (fever plus cough or sore throat) causing people to seek healthcare is increasing across most areas of the country.
The US is experiencing elevated RSV activity, particularly among young children. Further, after a period of limited change, COVID-19 activity is increasing again especially in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.
influenza activity continues to increase in most of the country. Hospital bed occupancy for all patients, including within intensive care units, remains stable nationally; however, pediatric inpatient bed occupancy has been increasing.
The CDC said that vaccines are available and can help protect people from the most serious health effects of fall and winter viruses.
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