China mystery illness: Expert reveals what he thinks the real cause of virus is

An expert has revealed what he thinks is the cause of the mystery illness sweeping China.

The eastern superpower has witnessed a surge in respiratory illnesses, particularly among children in the northern regions, prompting concerns and a request for more detailed information from the World Health Organization (WHO).

In a statement on November 23, the WHO said that China’s health authorities are blaming the rise in hospitalisations on known pathogens, such as adenoviruses, influenza virus and RSV, which tends to cause only mild, cold-like symptoms.
He said: “The cause of these infections seems to be influenza, mycoplasma pneumoniae and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) as well as COVID-19 itself.”

COVID-19 has not been named by China or the WHO as a cause of the new respiratory illness, but Dr Nayar thinks it’s a very real possibility.

He added: “Quite rightly the WHO has requested further information from China and we do need to keep an open mind about these outbreaks.”

Dr Nayar also pointed out that China came out of their extensive COVID-19 lockdown more recently than other countries, increasing the likelihood of a respiratory illness being spread. He said: “This may all be due to the fact that China is experiencing their first major wave of childhood respiratory illnesses after their quite prolonged lockdown.

“Other countries also experienced an increase in these childhood infections when we came out of lockdown last year, and to a large extent this was predictable.”

Dr Nayar added: “During the lockdowns there was decreased transmissibility of respiratory infections due to precautions such as isolation and mask wearing which led to fewer children and adults being infected resulting in decreased levels of immunity in the population.

“Coming out of the lockdowns meant that seasonal respiratory infections had a greater pool of children and adults to infect resulting in the rises we have seen.”

Chinese authorities are urging the public to maintain hygiene measures they took during the Covid pandemic, including more thorough handwashing, wearing face masks, and social distancing.

The WHO also recommends that people in China are up to date with their Covid vaccines to help reduce the risk of the new respiratory illness.

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