AIIMS Delhi: The Government of India stated in a statement dated December 7, 2023, that while several pneumonia cases have recently been reported at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, these are unrelated to the recent spike in respiratory infections in children. The government further declared that media reports implying a connection between the recent spike in pneumonia cases in China and the bacteria cases of pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma are “misleading”, “inaccurate”, and “ill-informed”.
AIIMS Delhi Dismisses Link to China’s Respiratory Infections
A release by the health ministry read, “Pneumonia Cases in AIIMS Delhi have no link to the recent surge in respiratory infections in children in China… Since January 2023 till date, NO Mycoplasma pneumonia was detected in the 611 samples tested at the Department of Microbiology, AIIMS Delhi as a part ICMR’s multiple respiratory pathogen surveillance, which included mainly severe acute respiratory illness (SARI, which comprised about 95 per cent of these cases) by real-time PCR.” It added, “Media reports claiming detection of bacterial cases in AIIMS Delhi linked to the recent surge in Pneumonia cases in China are misleading and inaccurate.”
Testing Methods and Results
According to a report published in “Lancet Microbe,” six cases were found using the IgM Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (Elisa) test, which can be carried out even at later stages of the infection, and one case was found using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which is performed at early stages of the infection. The results of the IgM Elisa test and the PCR showed a positivity rate of 16% and 3%, respectively.
Influenza-like Illness Pandemic in China
A pandemic of influenza-like illnesses occurred in China in November, primarily affecting children. According to numerous media reports, Chinese hospitals are “overwhelmed with sick children” who exhibit signs of respiratory illnesses. The National Health Commission of China has linked the increase in respiratory illnesses to the relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions. China also declared that no novel or unusual pathogens have been detected in response to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) urgent request for further information regarding the rise in paediatric respiratory illnesses.