Pneumonia Cases Not Linked To Surge In China: AIIMS Delhi Clarifies Reports


Several pneumonia cases have been reported in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, of late, but these are not linked to the recent surge in respiratory infections in children, the Government of India said in a statement dated December 7, 2023. The Government also stated that media reports which claimed that the bacterial cases of pneumonia caused by mycoplasma are linked to the recent surge in pneumonia cases in China are “misleading”, “inaccurate”, and “ill-informed”. 

As many as seven cases were identified in AIIMS Delhi, but none have a link to the recent surge in respiratory infections in children reported from certain regions of the world, including China.

A six-month study was conducted in AIIMS Delhi from April to September 2023, and the seven pneumonia cases were detected as part of that study. 

As many as 611 samples have been tested at the Department of Microbiology, AIIMS Delhi, since January 2023. These tests have been conducted as part of the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR’s) multiple respiratory pathogen surveillance. The test results showed that 95 per cent of the respiratory cases were severe acute respiratory illness (SARI). 

The most common bacterial cause of community-acquired pneumonia is mycoplasma. No surge in mycoplasma pneumonia cases has been observed from any region of India.

Mycoplasma pneumonia is also known as walking pneumonia.

A non-medical term for a mild case of pneumonia, walking pneumonia is also called atypical pneumonia. The causative organism is Mycoplasma pneumonia. The symptoms include cough, chest pain, headache, fever, and mild chills. 

While one may recover from the symptoms within three to five days, a cough can persist weeks or months after treatment.

Antihistamines for nasal congestion or cough medications can relieve one of the cough.

People should get a flu vaccine each ear to prevent contracting pneumonia caused by the influenza virus, and while there is no vaccine for mycoplasma pneumonia, they can get vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia.

Consumption of a well-balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, frequent washing of hands, avoiding smoking, and covering mouth when coughing or sneezing are important to prevent the disease.

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Mohd Aman

Editor in Chief Approved by Indian Government

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