| 27 February 2024, Tuesday |

China’s respiratory illness surge not as high as pre-pandemic – WHO official

A World Health Organization official stated that although there has been a rise in respiratory infections in China, it is not as high as it was prior to the COVID-19 epidemic and that no novel or uncommon viruses have been discovered in the latest cases.

The surge in infections that children were catching during the two years of COVID limitations seems to be the primary cause of the increase, according to Maria Van Kerkhove, acting director of the WHO’s department of epidemic and pandemic preparation and prevention.

“We asked about comparisons prior to the pandemic. And the waves that they’re seeing now, the peak is not as high as what they saw in 2018-2019,” Van Kerkhove told health news outlet STAT in an interview on Friday.

“This is not an indication of a novel pathogen. This is expected. This is what most countries dealt with a year or two ago,” she added.

China’s National Health Commission spokesperson Mi Feng said on Sunday the surge in acute respiratory illnesses was linked to the simultaneous circulation of several kinds of pathogens, most prominently influenza.

  • Reuters