| 4 March 2024, Monday |

WHO says China’s respiratory illness surge not as high as pre-pandemic levels

A World Health Organization official mentioned that despite the surge in respiratory illnesses in China, the current numbers are not as elevated as those experienced before the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the official reiterated that no new or unusual pathogens have been identified in the recent cases.
Maria Van Kerkhove, acting director of the WHO’s department of epidemic and pandemic preparedness and prevention, said the increase appeared to be driven by a rise in the number of children contracting pathogens that two years of COVID restrictions have kept them away from.
“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.

  • alarabiya