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Taiwan nurse tests positive for mycoplasma

Middle school teacher coughs for 4 months before testing positive for mycoplasma

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Shih Sheng-huan (right) examines nurse who contracted mycoplasma pneumonia. (Shih Sheng-huan photo)

Shih Sheng-huan (right) examines nurse who contracted mycoplasma pneumonia. (Shih Sheng-huan photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Amid the mycoplasma pneumonia outbreak in China, cases in Taichung City have been reported, including a nurse who had been experiencing a stubborn cough for two months.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declared an "airport alert" and issued a letter to the medical community to implement the TOCC (travel history, occupation, contact history, and cluster information) inquiry mechanism, reported UDN. Any concerns about potential cases are to be reported to the CDC immediately.

In Taichung, a nurse in her 20s had reported a persistent cough for two months. When she took rapid tests for COVID-19 and influenza, the results came back negative, but a subsequent rapid screening for mycoplasma pneumonia resulted in a positive diagnosis.

In another case in Taichung, a middle school music teacher suffered from a cough for four months, and since her children had influenza, doctors prescribed her flu treatment. After her condition did not improve, a mycoplasma pneumonia rapid test came back positive.

Shih Sheng-huan (施勝桓), a pediatrician based in Taichung, told UDN that the symptoms of a mycoplasma pneumonia infection are a long-lasting cough, dry cough with little phlegm, and intermittent low-grade fever, similar to the common cold. It may not exhibit serious symptoms, but the most concerning aspect is the infection may not be detected until the host's immune system weakens and pneumonia occurs.

Over the past month, as many patients with mycoplasma pneumonia have emerged, Shih urged the public to practice regular handwashing, wear masks, and take preventative measures. The CDC also told individuals planning to travel to China to get vaccinated against the flu and receive the XBB COVID-19 vaccine before departure.