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Surge in Pneumonia Cases in China Raises Worries in Japan

A professor from Tokyo Medical University remarked that Mycoplasma pneumonia is an uncommon cause of serious illness in contrast to the current infection in China. The increase in respiratory illness among children in China is causing concern about potential transmission in the region. The ongoing pneumonia epidemic is straining hospitals and resulting in the suspension of classes in schools in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, and northeast China provinces.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s National Health Commission held a press conference on Dec. 2, during which Dr. Wang Dayan, the director of the National Influenza Center of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Chinese CDC), made recommendations for controlling the respiratory illnesses outbreak in China. She suggested increasing ventilation and disinfection in crowded public places, more frequent disinfection and cleaning of frequently touched public facilities, reducing gatherings of people in public places, and wearing masks in specific places such as airports, stations, public transportation, farmers markets, and others.

The Japanese Embassy in Beijing advised Japanese residents in China, numbering around 100,000, to take preventive measures against the respiratory illness and to seek medical attention in case children display severe symptoms like high fever. On Nov. 29, a Japanese school in Beijing reported an increasing number of infected patients and the closure of several classes due to the outbreak.

Chinese Health Ministry has stated that mycoplasma pneumonia caused the recent outbreak among children. Atsuro Hamada, a professor at Tokyo Medical University, recommended the public to take precautions against the infectious disease in China. He mentioned that the infectious disease is transmitted by droplets and recommended precautionary measures like regular hand-washing, disinfection with alcohol, and wearing masks.

The CCP has eased travel restrictions despite the spike in respiratory infections. This has raised concerns among Japanese citizens about the virus potentially spreading to Japan. Due to the CCP’s previous cover-up of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan in December 2019, many are worried about the relaxation of travel restrictions and the potential spread of the virus.

Japanese citizens have expressed hopes that the Japanese government will take appropriate measures without being influenced by the CCP into implementing overly aggressive anti-epidemic mandates. The impact of Chinese childhood pneumonia in Japan is a cause for concern for some, given the previous response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on public health.

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