The spread of a new pneumonia strain from China is causing alarm in Europe. Experts caution against complacency and call for enhanced preparedness.
According to the “Daily Express,” a health expert has warned Europe of a potential outbreak of a previously unknown form of pneumonia currently rampant in China. Schools have closed, and hospitals are overwhelmed with sick children. Now, there are fears of a similar situation unfolding in Europe, particularly due to a rising number of pneumonia cases in children in the Netherlands.
Venturing into Unknown Territory with a New Virus?
Dr. Joseph Ambani, an infectious disease expert, expressed his concerns in a conversation with the Daily Express. He emphasizes that too little is currently known about the concerning respiratory ailment. Crucially, whether it is a new pathogen or a mutation of a known virus remains uncertain. This information would significantly influence predictions regarding the spread and virulence of the pathogen. If it is a new virus, we would be navigating unknown terrain, potentially resulting in higher virulence and a lack of immunity in the population.
China currently attributes the respiratory ailment to a bacterial infection, RSV, influenza, and cold viruses. However, there are growing concerns that the severity of the infection is being downplayed.
Special Risk for Older Individuals
The unclear situation raises particular concerns due to the aging population in Europe. Pneumonia symptoms are notoriously worse in older individuals, and they could face “significant challenges,” according to Dr. Ambani.
He emphasizes the importance of Europe’s healthcare system preparing for the outbreak. It not only needs to monitor the situation and be on high alert but also intensify all efforts to minimize the impact.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently reviewing the data provided by China regarding the escalating outbreak. Medical professionals worldwide are on high alert.
Original source: This information was Initially covered by focus.de and has been translated for our readers.