A public health expert has revealed the tell-tale signs of pneumonia to spit as fears rise pneumonia outbreak in China could soon wash over the UK. The outbreak has been hospitals in Beijing overrun and many schools closed.
The respiratory illness surge has been documented in Europe, infecting the Netherlands and causing 80 of every 100,000 children between ages five and 14 to contract the respiratory illness in late November.
The lack of information on the outbreak from China has also heightened fears. The WHO asked China for more information following the shocking outbreak, as they feared the true causes and number of cases were being hidden.
The combination of this lack of information and growing numbers of respiratory illnesses across Europe has raised alarm bells in the UK. Health expert Dr Veronika Matutyte says the “concern is certainly justified” as we head into the season of colds and flu this winter.
How to spot it
She warned that this respiratory infection can be “more severe than typical colds or the flu” and listed things people should watch out for if they are concerned about catching it.
The doc said: “Key symptoms to watch for include a persistent, severe cough, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and a high fever. These symptoms, particularly when they persist or worsen, should prompt immediate medical attention.”
These symptoms are different from common winter illnesses, so it’s important to know the differences to prevent the spread as best as possible.
Dr Matutyte said: “In contrast, common winter illnesses like colds and flu often present with a milder cough, runny nose, and lower-grade fever. Understanding these distinctions is critical for early detection and treatment.”
Dr Matutyte also stressed the importance of knowing when to seek medical attention, because pneumonia cannot be fought off bby over-the-counter medicine alone.
She said: “Difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, or bluish lips or face are signs that immediate medical attention is required.”
Desptire this, Dr Matutyte suggested that a pneumonia outbreak in the UK could actually be beneficial to public health as it would raise awareness of things everyone can do to protect themselves from infection, such as regularly washing their hands.
She said: “The awareness brought by the Chinese pneumonia outbreak could lead to a more cautious approach this
winter. We might observe increased public health messaging, more people opting for flu vaccinations, and heightened hygiene practices.
“These changes, while prompted by concern, can positively influence the general health scenario by reducing the spread of common respiratory illnesses.”