Friday, May 24, 2024

Pneumonia Cases Surge Among NSW Children, Health Experts Issue Warning

A sharp rise in pneumonia cases among children in New South Wales has led to a significant increase in emergency department visits, prompting health experts to issue warnings.

The number of school-aged children seeking hospital treatment for pneumonia symptoms has tripled compared to January, with 124 children aged four and under admitted to emergency departments with pneumonia last week. Even more alarming, 317 children between the ages of five and 16 presented to emergency departments with pneumonia during the same period.

Additionally, 127 older teenagers and adults were also admitted to emergency rooms due to pneumonia. Professor Philip Britton from Westmead Children’s Hospital highlighted the concerning trend, stating, “We’ve certainly seen an increase above what we’d normally see at this time of year.”

According to experts, the surge in emergency room visits is likely just the tip of the iceberg, with general practitioners also witnessing a rise in pneumonia cases. Professor Britton attributed the surge to a new type of bacteria, mycoplasma pneumoniae, to which children have not yet developed immunity.

He explained, “Now that it’s come back, we’ve got a cohort of children who haven’t seen this bug. Their immunity’s not been trained against it, and so we’re seeing larger numbers getting a bit more unwell.” While the number of cases is increasing, this strain of pneumonia is generally less severe.

Related Articles

Latest Articles

Most Popular