(RightWing.org) – On November 21, the International Society for Infectious Diseases issued an alert regarding an undiagnosed outbreak of a mystery illness in China resembling pneumonia. The following day, the WHO followed suit and published a warning about clusters of unreported respiratory illness spreading in the country’s northern region. Eight days later, Right Wing reported the phenomenon appeared to have spread to Europe. Alarmingly, public health officials in Ohio recently announced that they have received an unusually high number of reported cases of pediatric respiratory illness.
On November 29, the Warren County Health District (WCHD) issued a medical advisory regarding a respiratory illness. The notice explained that it had received reports of “an extremely high number” of pneumonia cases among pediatric patients this autumn.
The advisory warned that it had received reports of 142 instances of the disease since August. The notice advised that the prevalence of known cases not only exceeded the county’s average but also met the Ohio Department of Health’s criteria for an “outbreak.”
So far, the WCHD hasn’t positively identified a common thread linking those cases of pneumonia. Likewise, they haven’t determined a “definitive etiology” accompanying the disease’s spread. However, they did identify three underlying strains of the illness. They included Adenovirus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
Officials say they are investigating “possible linkages and risk factors.” So far, the average age of afflicted children is eight years old, and the known cases are spread throughout multiple school systems.
The WCHD distributed a questionnaire to parents as part of its ongoing examination of the disease. Respondents reported that their children experienced fatigue, fever, and coughing bouts.
The notice advised that the WCHD was working with the Ohio Health Department, primary care providers, and local pediatric hospitals to discover an underlying cause of the outbreak and, hopefully, prevent the illness’ spread.
The WCHD concluded its medical advisory by warning Ohioans to exercise caution when meeting with friends and family over the holidays. The agency reminded them of the importance of staying home if they are ill, covering their mouth when coughing, and washing their hands regularly.
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