Mycoplasma is thought to be the cause of a mysterious childhood respiratory illness in China. Photo: ist
BEIJING – Cases of respiratory diseases in children in China have continued to increase in recent weeks. It is known that the cause is mycoplasma bacteria. What’s that?
Mycoplasma bacteria is a type of bacteria that can cause mild respiratory tract infections that most people can cure without antibiotics.
However, exposure to mycoplasma bacteria can sometimes cause more serious lung infections, which can result in patients needing intensive care.
“This bacteria is also the cause of atypical pneumonia or ‘walking’ pneumonia,” explained the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), quoted from Business Insider, Tuesday (28/11).
Pneumonia itself is a disease that causes the airways to swell, the air sacs in the lungs fill with mucus and other fluids, and causes the patient to have a high fever and cough up mucus.
However, if it is classified as an atypical disease, the patient may feel well enough to walk around and perform daily tasks and not realize that he or she is sick with atypical pneumonia.
“They may feel like they just have a cold or flu but it’s more severe than usual, and symptoms include sore throat, fatigue, chest pain or discomfort, low-grade fever, coughing, sneezing and headache,” the medical center said.
Spread of Mycoplasma Bacteria
How do mycoplasma bacteria spread from one person to another? Mycoplasma bacteria spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and releases small droplets containing the bacteria into the air.
The CDC revealed that people can become infected with mycoplasma if they inhale these droplets.
Those under 2 years old, over 65 years old, or people with a weak immune system are groups vulnerable to pneumonia caused by mycoplasma bacteria.
Meanwhile, conditions in China have been highlighted by the World Health Organization (WHO). They noted that the trend of increasing cases of respiratory diseases in children in China began in October 2023. Then, a drastic spike occurred on November 13.