China Pneumonia Enters India? Fear Grips After AIIMS Delhi Detects 7 Cases of 'Walking Pneumonia' Bacteria

China Pneumonia Enters India? Fear Grips After AIIMS Delhi Detects 7 Cases of 'Walking Pneumonia' Bacteria
China Pneumonia Enters India? Fear Grips After AIIMS Delhi Detects 7 Cases of 'Walking Pneumonia' Bacteria

'Walking pneumonia' is an informal term to describe a mild bacterial infection that resembles a cold, a respiratory illness. Walking pneumonia is often caused by the bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

Written by Satata Karmakar |Updated : December 7, 2023 1:47 PM IST

Delhi: In the wake of rising concerns regarding the rapid spread of 'pneumonia' cases across China, Netherlands, and Europe, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital in Delhi on Thursday, confirmed that they have detected seven positive samples of Mycoplasma pneumonia or 'walking pneumonia' from April 1 to September 30 this year.

According to the findings made in the journal, one case was identified through an early-stage PCR test, while the remaining six cases were detected using the IgM Elisa test, applicable even in later stages of infection, reports suggested.

The positivity rates for the PCR and IgM Elisa tests were reported as 3 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively, based on the research.

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What Is Walking Pneumonia?

Walking pneumonia, also known as atypical pneumonia, is a mild form of pneumonia typically caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. While it can cause fever, cough, fatigue, and chest pain, it usually resolves without requiring hospitalization. However, the detection of seven cases within a short period has prompted health authorities to monitor the situation closely.

"The emergence of these cases highlights the need for increased vigilance and awareness about walking pneumonia," stated Dr. A.K. Singh, a senior pulmonologist at AIIMS Delhi. "While these cases are not linked to the China outbreak, it is crucial to remember that walking pneumonia can spread through close contact via respiratory droplets. We advise the public to practice good hygiene and seek medical attention if they experience any respiratory symptoms."

7 Walking Pneumonia Cases at AIIMS Raise Concerns of China Pneumonia Entering India

All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital in the national capital Delhi has confirmed the presence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae in seven of the samples collected earlier last week. According to the experts, this is the same bacteria linked to kids falling sick in large numbers in China.

However, contrary to what the experts have stated, The Union Health Minister took to the media and said that these pneumonia cases have, however, no link to the recent surge in respiratory infections in children in China. A statement by the Health Ministry stated, "Mycoplasma pneumonia is the commonest bacterial cause of community-acquired pneumonia. It is the reason for nearly 15-30% of all such infections. Such surge has not been reported from any part of India."

Addressing a press meeting, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has stated that they are closely monitoring the situation and have issued necessary advisories to states and union territories to keep the citizens safe and prepare the hospitals for any unwanted circumstances. As per reports, the government is also taking necessary steps to enhance surveillance and ensure timely diagnosis and treatment of walking pneumonia cases.

How To Stay Safe From 'Walking Pneumonia'?

Taking cognizance of the deteriorating situation across China and Europe, experts have advised the public against resorting to self-medication and instead consult a doctor if they experience any symptoms of walking pneumonia. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are crucial for preventing complications.

While the detection of seven cases of walking pneumonia bacteria in India is concerning, it is crucial to maintain perspective and take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the infection. By remaining vigilant and following the guidance of health officials, we can effectively manage this situation and ensure the well-being of the public.

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