"Respiratory Illness In China Due To Common Viruses": AIIMS Doctor

The senior doctor said there is no possibility of another Covid-like pandemic yet.

'Respiratory Illness In China Due To Common Viruses': AIIMS Doctor

The doctor said viral infections are common in winter.

New Delhi:

Amid rising cases of respiratory illness in China, a senior doctor from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences has said that viral infections are common in winter and there is no possibility of another pandemic like Covid yet.

A notable surge has been reported in respiratory illness in children in northern China in recent weeks.

Dr SK Kabra, Head of Department, Mother and Child Block, AIIMS, told ANI, "The reports coming from China now show that there has been a sudden increase in respiratory infections between October and November and they have observed that it is more common in children. Mycoplasma has been seen. They have not seen any new or unusual viruses. There is no indication yet that this is a new organism and it is difficult to say whether it can cause a pandemic like Covid. This possibility is not there yet."

He further said that common viruses in the winter season have been seen in the reports coming from China.

"Now experts have discussed this and, according to them, there could be 2-3 things due to which it has increased. Firstly, virus infection is more common in winter and the main ones are influenza, adenovirus and mycoplasma. Till now, the same viruses are visible in the reports of the organisms spreading in China and there is nothing new. People are very worried because the pandemic has just passed whether a new virus has arrived," Dr Kabra said.

Dr Kabra also said that cases of respiratory illness may be increasing in China because of the strict lockdown which had been imposed.

"See, the lockdown in China was very strict. It was lifted in December last year and, since then, this is the first winter there. As far as we know about infection in children, every child under 5 years of age gets a viral infection 3-8 times a year and with each infection, he becomes immune to it," he said.

"Then after the age of 5, the rate of infection reduces. So the children in China who are not able to come out of their houses due to lockdown, their immunity has not developed due to which they have become susceptible to the infection," he added.

"There is a hypothesis that the children who have not had this infection in 2-3 years during lockdown, the infection will now occur. If one child gets it, it will infect 10 more, due to which the cases will increase suddenly," he asserted.

He urged people to practice hygiene and use sanitisers.

"If a child has an infection, do not send him outside until he recovers. Generally, influenza lasts for a week. One can use a mask and follow social distancing. Everyone should also take care of hygiene, and use sanitisers. The phase that China is facing now, we have already faced it last year, so there is no problem," the doctor said.

"We are now more knowledgeable than before about how a pandemic is managed. The ministry has told doctors to investigate if such cases are coming. If any abnormality is seen, then inform them so that appropriate action can be taken," he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)