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Taiwan CDC warns of outbreak of 7 pathogens in China

CDC predicts cases will peak during Lunar New Year, advises vulnerable groups to avoid travel to China

Hospitalized children in China reportedly forced to do homework while being hooked up to IV drips. (Weibo image)

Hospitalized children in China reportedly forced to do homework while being hooked up to IV drips. (Weibo image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Monday (Nov. 27) said the current outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is caused by seven different pathogens, and cases will likely peak during the Lunar New Year.

In its latest report on Sunday (Nov. 26), the National Health Commission of China (NHCC) said the recent wave of respiratory infections in northern China has been caused by multiple pathogens, including influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), adenovirus, mycoplasma pneumoniae, and COVID-19. In response, the CDC is strongly urging individuals traveling to China to get vaccinated against influenza and receive the XBB COVID-19 vaccine, reported New Talk.

CDC Director Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) said that based on NHCC data, in addition to influenza being the main cause of respiratory illnesses recently, there are also other major pathogens prevalent in different age groups. This includes rhinovirus for people aged 1 to 4, mycoplasma pneumoniae and adenovirus for people aged 5 to 14, rhinovirus and COVID-19 for those aged 15 to 59, and human metapneumovirus and common coronaviruses (non-COVID) in seniors aged 60 and over.

Lo said the CDC will monitor the trends in China's outbreak to adjust preventive measures around the Lunar New Year. When asked whether mycoplasma pneumoniae would enter Taiwan in large numbers as people travel, Lo said that mycoplasma mainly occurs in children, and adults should not ignore pathogens such as influenza and COVID-19.

For vulnerable groups such as the elderly and young children, it is recommended they suspend travel plans. Lo said Taiwanese may face difficulties or delays in seeking medical treatment in China.

The CDC has increased vigilance at port quarantine stations at international airports. It notified the medical community of the outbreak in China and told doctors to inquire about patients' travel history, occupation, contact history, and cluster information (TOCC).