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AIIMS Delhi dismisses media reports of 7 Pneumoniae samples’ link to China’s respiratory infection surge

Central govt scraps the media reports claiming detection of bacterial cases in AIIMS Delhi linked to the recent surge in Pneumonia cases in China and calls it "misleading and inaccurate". The seven cases were detected as part of an ongoing study at AIIMS Delhi during the six-month period (April to September) and there "is no cause for worry".

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Mycoplasma pneumoniae, the bacterium often responsible for mild cases of pneumonia, has made its presence felt in India. The country’s top medical institute AIIMS Delhi has identified seven cases of this bacterial infection in children between April and September 2023 but they have no link whatsoever to the recent surge in respiratory infections in children reported from some parts of the world, including China, the Union health ministry said on Thursday.

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Central govt scraps the media reports claiming detection of bacterial cases in AIIMS Delhi linked to the recent surge in Pneumonia cases in China and calls it “misleading and inaccurate”. The seven cases were detected as part of an ongoing study at AIIMS Delhi during the six-month period (April to September) and there “is no cause for worry”.

“A recent media report in a national daily has claimed that AIIMS Delhi has detected seven bacterial cases linked to the recent surge in pneumonia cases in China. The news report is ill-informed and provides misleading information,” the ministry said in a statement.

The statement made it clear that these seven positive samples are completely unrelated to the current spike in pediatric respiratory illnesses that have been reported from China and other parts of the world.

Moreover, it added that since January 2023 till date, none of the 61 samples examined by the AIIMS Department of Microbiology had mycoplasma pneumonia.

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Mycoplasma pneumonia is the commonest bacterial cause of community-acquired pneumonia. It’ the reason for nearly 15-30 per cent of all such infections. No region in India has reported experiencing such a spike, the statement said.

It further stated that the Union Health Ministry is regularly monitoring the situation with the state health authorities and is keeping a close watch on the situation on an everyday basis.

According to a study that was published in “Lancet Microbe,” according to which six instances were found using the IgM Elisa test, which can be used even in later stages of the infection, and one case was found using a PCR test that was performed early in the infection.

Recalling the COVID-19 pandemic, The recent pneumonia outbreak reported in China which saw a surge in hospital admissions is a concern for the rest of the world as our interconnected world still poses risks, said experts on Thursday, while calling on the need for preparing for the worst. The bacteria M-Pneumoniae, which rapidly expanded over the world and reached the US, UK, and Israel, was blamed for the surge in cases.

An advisory was sent out to keep an eye on this walking pneumonia virus because of the rise. In India, AIIMS Delhi and other facilities are doing viral surveillance.

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