CDC Looking Into New Respiratory Virus Spreading In China

( – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added to comments on the outbreak of a new respiratory virus in China and said it is monitoring the situation. “Initial reports indicate that there have been simultaneous increases in a number of known respiratory illnesses, resulting in a spike in hospitalizations,” a CDC announcement said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a similar statement recently, saying China was reporting clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia in children in the north of the country. WHO officials said they had requested more information from China, including epidemiology, clinical data, and laboratory results. Chinese officials, however, say the rising infections are a mixture of known viruses, and the surge is a response to ending Covid restrictions.

Francois Balloux of University College London said an increase in influenza-like illness was expected in China when it reopened its society at the end of the most prolonged and most stringent Covid restrictions in the world. “There is no reason to suspect the emergence of a novel pathogen,” he added.

Catherine Bennett of Australia’s Deakin University suggested that because some of China’s young children have spent a large chunk of their lives in lockdown or under restrictions, they do not have most children’s natural immunity and, therefore, are more susceptible to illness.

Despite its concerns, the WHO said there is currently no reason to limit or restrict travel to China, and people should follow standard hygiene rules.

The global Covid pandemic that shut down the world was sourced to China, but the exact details remain unclear and are the source of numerous theories, including government cover-up. At the start of the outbreak, poor hygiene practices at “wet markets” in Wuhan were blamed, but FBI Director Christopher Wray commented that the source was likely a “Chinese government-controlled lab.”

Beijing accused Wray of “political manipulation” and the WHO backed up that view; having visited Wuhan to investigate, a WHO team concluded the lab-leak theory was “extremely unlikely.”

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