Children in China Hit Hard by Pneumonia Outbreak

Children in China Hit Hard by Pneumonia Outbreak
Parents with children suffering from respiratory diseases line up at a children's hospital in Chongqing, China, on Nov. 23, 2023. (CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Since October, there has been a severe outbreak of contagious pneumonia among children in China. Children’s hospitals across the country have been overwhelmed with underage patients. At some hospitals, parents even had to wait in line for more than 24 hours to secure an appointment.

Han Dongye, a doctor at the pediatric department of Beijing Tsinghua Changgeng Hospital, revealed to Chinese state media that after China’s National Holiday Week (Sept. 29 to Oct. 6), the hospital’s pediatric outpatient and emergency treatment volume increased by 62 percent compared with the same period in 2022, and by 72 percent compared with the first half of 2023.

The two locations of Tianjin Children’s Hospital have a combined daily outpatient and emergency treatment volume of more than 12,000 people.

Liu Wei, president of Tianjin Children’s Hospital, reportedly said in her “Letter to Children’s Families” that the outpatient volume of the hospital’s two locations exceeded 13,171 in a single day on Nov. 18, and the number of daily outpatient and emergency room visits exceeded 10,000 for more than 100 consecutive days.

Drs. Huang Xing and Tu Zhiqiang, of the pediatric department at Shanghai’s Renji Hospital, said the hospital has seen more than 8,000 pediatric outpatient visits since November, a 175 percent increase over the same period last year.

On the morning of Nov. 24, in the Children’s Hospital of Wuxi People’s Hospital, there were many children in need of infusion, but there was no hospital bed available. Parents had to solve the problem on their own. Some parents assembled the camping bed and clothes drying pole, into a mobile bed, and some parents brought camping recliners, camping tables, and tents into the hospital.

In mid-to-late October, the number of daily outpatient and emergency visits to the three locations of the Henan Provincial Children’s Hospital consistently exceeded 10,000.

The Epoch Times talked to several doctors and parents in different cities in China.

On Nov. 18, a doctor surnamed Li at Beijing’s Changping District Hospital told The Epoch Times that there have been a lot of infected children lately, and the hospitals are full.

“Some time ago, it was mainly children who were infected, but now some adults have been infected as well,” he said.

On Nov. 19, a doctor at Beijing’s New Century Children’s Hospital said that the hospital was full of children with pneumonia, and that all appointments were filled every day. When the daily quota was reached, parents had to line up at the outpatient clinic and wait to see if their child could be admitted by chance.

On Nov. 20, a pediatrician at the Quzhou Interprovincial Border Center Hospital in Zhejiang Province revealed to The Epoch Times that the hospital performs lung washing for nearly 80 to 90 people every day, most of them children, and that all inpatient beds are full.

Ms. Wang of Dalian city said that the outbreak in Dalian was so severe that she could hardly find a local hospital with beds available. Her daughter, who attends primary school, began to have a fever and cough on Nov. 2, and after seven days with a fever of 106 degrees Fahrenheit, she was admitted to Dalian Children’s Hospital for 15 days.

Ms. Bai, another parent from Dailian, told The Epoch Times that her son almost died of pneumonia. His symptoms included severe cough, persistent high fever, diarrhea, and nasal congestion.

New COVID Variant the Most Likely Cause

China’s health authorities have claimed that the current wave of infection is caused by mycoplasma pneumonia and have told the public not to panic.

However, some doctors in Beijing suspect that COVID-19 is the real cause because the medicines that can treat mycoplasma pneumonia do not affect the disease.

U.S.-based biomedical science assistant professor and Epoch Times commentator Sean Lin said on Nov. 3 that the real pathogen could be a new variant of COVID-19, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

“COVID has never really disappeared in China,” Mr. Lin said. “However, the Chinese communist authorities dare not mention it again and use ‘influenza A’ or ‘mycoplasma pneumonia’ to camouflage the new waves of COVID-19.”

He said that mycoplasma pneumonia does not normally incur serious lung infections known as “white lung,” and it is not difficult to control mycoplasma pneumonia with specific antibiotics.

“Therefore, from a professional point of view, it should be a variant of the novel coronavirus. A combined attack of more than two viruses or bacteria is also a possible cause,” he said.

Jenny Li has contributed to The Epoch Times since 2010. She has reported on Chinese politics, economics, human rights issues, and U.S.-China relations. She has extensively interviewed Chinese scholars, economists, lawyers, and rights activists in China and overseas.
Related Topics