Six Indian states on high alert as respiratory illnesses surge in China, US and Europe

Indian states are taking proactive measures to ensure healthcare readiness, in view of pneumonia outbreak in China, 'white lung syndrome' in Ohio and more

In recent days, media agencies have  posted videos of hospitals in northern China, crowded with parents and children awaiting check-ups (photo: DW)
In recent days, media agencies have posted videos of hospitals in northern China, crowded with parents and children awaiting check-ups (photo: DW)
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Six Indian states—Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Haryana and Tamil Nadu—have heightened healthcare readiness efforts, following a directive from the Centre in response to a surge in respiratory illnesses in China, as per Business Today.

The Karnataka health department is warning citizens and healthcare staff to keep an eye out for instances of the seasonal flu, especially risky for infants, the elderly and the immunocompromised. The seasonal flu is infectious, typically lasts five to seven days, but is known for low morbidity and mortality rates.

Rajasthan is focusing on vigilance and activating rapid response teams, urging officials to prepare an action plan against an upsurge in illnesses.

Meanwhile, according to Business Today, Gujarat's health minister is coordinating with the central government and has assured there is full equipment readiness: "The central government is keeping watch on the situation. ICMR has also released some advisories. We have also inspected the oxygen tanks, ventilators and availability of beds. If such a case (of severe respiratory illness) comes up, the government should be made aware of it immediately, and plans for separate wards have been made."

Delhi's health minister Saurabh Bharadwaj has noted the respiratory infections in China's kids too, and emphasised the need for specific guidelines: "It's a general advisory (released by the central government). I believe if there will be a specific advisory in it, then it will be easy for the states to take proper actions."

China is witnessing a significant increase in cases, particularly among children, related to respiratory illnesses and pneumonia.

Amid these concerns, Indian states are taking proactive measures to ensure healthcare infrastructure readiness and response plans, aligning with the evolving situation in China.

Meanwhile, global concerns escalate as well, with Ohio in the United States reporting a strange uptick in what is being called 'white lung syndrome', echoing China's situation, reports Hindustan Times.

Ohio became the first American state to report such an outbreak, with a large number of children admitted into hospitals with this enigmatic pneumonia outbreak.

According to health officials in Warren County, since August, there have been at least 142 paediatric cases of ‘white lung syndrome’.

"Not only is this above the county average, it also meets the Ohio Department of Health definition of an outbreak," said officials on Wednesday, 29 November, as per Hindustan Times.

There is apprehension that the United States might experience an outbreak of the virus, similar to the overwhelming situation in Chinese hospitals, due to the transmission of cases. But the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it sees "nothing out of the ordinary" nationally.

Ohio officials are looking into the case and are investigating a mix of common viruses, with symptoms resembling mycoplasma pneumonia.

After China, more countries report incidences of pneumonia in kids, Denmark and Netherlands being the latest ones.

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