Many children and parents are going through a battle with Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection this fall. All-media reporters from China Women’s Daily learned that since September, the number of pediatric outpatient clinics in major hospitals in Beijing has surged, and the number of children with Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection has continued to increase. The number of pediatric outpatient visits is comparable to the winter peak in previous years. Recently, the number of respiratory infection outpatient clinics at Beijing Children’s Hospital has remained at a high level. The number of outpatient visits for fever and cough per day ranges from 3,000 to 4,700, of which about 20% are positive for mycoplasma. Many children and teenagers over 5 years old have been diagnosed with “mycoplasma pneumonia”, and some children even develop severe pneumonia such as “white lung”. Many parents are anxious and worried about this, and there are also phenomena of seeking medical treatment in a hurry, taking medicine by themselves, leading to misuse and delay in treatment.
November is the peak of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections. All-media reporters from China Women’s News learned from the Pediatric Department of the Third Medical Center of the People’s Liberation Army General Hospital that among the children currently undergoing treatment, in addition to respiratory syncytial virus and influenza viruses, some are infected with Mycoplasma pneumoniae. A certain proportion of children are affected. Sun Yanfeng, director of pediatrics at the Third Medical Center of the PLA General Hospital’s Department of Pediatrics, told reporters that with the adjustment of epidemic prevention and control measures, the number of children infected this year has increased significantly compared with previous years. The most typical symptoms of mycoplasmal pneumonia in children are fever and cough. As the disease progresses, sputum will appear. Some children with severe symptoms will develop wheezing, dyspnea, cyanosis and other symptoms. Once children are diagnosed or highly suspected of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection, they must be treated symptomatically as soon as possible to reduce the occurrence of severe illness.
Children under 3 years old or with underlying diseases will develop rapidly after infection
Many people are still very unfamiliar with “mycoplasma”, so they panic when their children are confirmed to be infected. Mycoplasma pneumoniae is actually a microorganism, neither a bacterium nor a virus. Its size is between bacteria and viruses. It is anaerobic and can survive independently. Due to the outbreak of mycoplasma infections in many places this year, and cross-infection in families, schools and other places is more serious, Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections are characterized by younger and more frequent infections this year, and the infection rate among children under 3 years old has increased compared with before. In clinical practice, it is also common among children aged 1 to 3 years old and even infants.
Director Sun Yanfeng said that infection with Mycoplasma pneumoniae may not necessarily cause pneumonia. Mycoplasma pneumonia may occur only when Mycoplasma pneumoniae invades the lower respiratory tract. “If the child is under 3 years old, or has basic diseases such as congenital heart disease, hereditary metabolic diseases, etc., once such children are infected, their condition will often develop rapidly.” Director Sun Yanfeng reminded parents that young children may have symptoms after infection. There is a greater risk. Therefore, if the child has recently developed symptoms of suspected Mycoplasma pneumonia infection such as high fever and cough, parents must take the child to the hospital for investigation as soon as possible to avoid delaying the condition.
“For school-age children whose body temperature exceeds 38.5°C and lasts for more than 48 hours, or whose high fever lasts for more than 48 hours, or who is listless, unwilling to eat, or even has symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, it is recommended to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.” Director Sun Yanfeng said, 1 Children aged ~12 years old who have had fever for more than 3 days, especially those with low white blood cells and high hypersensitivity protein, should promptly complete lung imaging examinations even if the lung auscultation performance is normal.
Zhang Jianpeng, director of the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine of the PLA General Hospital and stationed at the Third Medical Center, told reporters that childhood pneumonia can be caused by a variety of pathogenic infections, such as viruses, bacteria, mycoplasma, fungi, etc. After children are infected with Mycoplasma pneumoniae, the main symptoms are high fever and cough symptoms. In the early stage, it is an irritating dry cough. In the later stage, as airway secretions are discharged, there will be expectoration and difficulty breathing. symptom. “In addition to respiratory symptoms, mycoplasma pneumonia may also cause symptoms in other systems of the body, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and other digestive system symptoms; skin symptoms such as rash; nervous system symptoms such as mental weakness and drowsiness. In severe cases, it may also cause Embolism, such as cerebral embolism, pulmonary embolism and even cardiac thrombosis.” Director Zhang Jianpeng emphasized that if the child’s condition develops and there is large pulmonary consolidation, or even accompanied by atelectasis, or a large amount of pleural effusion, the child will Parents should be mentally prepared for the possibility of hospitalization.
Children and adolescents over 5 years old are susceptible to the disease, and prevention requires good personal hygiene habits.
Yang Huining, director of the Disease Prevention and Control Department of the Third Medical Center, reminded that Mycoplasma pneumoniae is currently an important pathogen of acute respiratory tract infections in Beijing. It is divided into two subtypes, type I and type II. The main prevalent subtype in Beijing is type I. The population is generally susceptible to Mycoplasma pneumoniae, but it is more common in children and adolescents over 5 years old. Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection can occur throughout the year. The high incidence period of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection in Beijing is from August to December every year, and usually reaches its peak around November every year.
According to experts, Mycoplasma pneumoniae is mainly spread through direct contact and droplets. The infected person can carry the pathogen in the secretions when coughing, sneezing, and runny nose, so focused cross-infection is prone to occur in homes, schools and other places. Experts advise that there is currently no vaccine against Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and the most important thing to prevent Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection is to develop good personal hygiene habits.
1. Mycoplasma pneumoniae has no cell wall structure. Both 75% alcohol and chlorine-containing disinfectants (such as 84 disinfectant) can kill Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Parents should tell their children to pay attention to hand hygiene and use soap and hand sanitizer to clean and wash hands under running water. If running water is not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used to wipe and disinfect hands;
2. Try to avoid going to public places with dense crowds and poor ventilation, and wear a mask for protection when you must go;
3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or cover it with your elbow or sleeve, and throw the used tissue into a covered trash can;
4. Pay attention to indoor ventilation and ventilate for no less than 30 minutes each time to keep the air fresh;
5. Develop healthy living habits, exercise moderately, and increase body resistance. Now that the weather is getting colder, children must keep warm and avoid catching cold.
Expert tip: Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection has an incubation period of 1 to 3 weeks, and it is contagious during the incubation period until symptoms subside for several weeks. Key places such as schools and kindergartens must pay attention to ventilation and disinfection, perform daily cleaning work, and strengthen health monitoring to avoid cluster infections. Experts also reminded that penicillins and cephalosporins are completely ineffective against Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Currently, macrolide antibiotics, such as roxithromycin and azithromycin, are the first-choice treatments for Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection. If a child develops fever and severe cough, he should go to a regular hospital to find out the cause and standardize treatment as soon as possible. He should not blindly take medication on his own.