The respiratory virus bringing China to its knees is now considered to be like COVID-19, which means the UK is under threat.

Countries neighbouring China, including India, have raised their alert levels to high following the rapid spread of "white lung pneumonia."

The alerts are in place in a bid to prevent the virus, which has similarities to COVID-19, from spreading out of China and impacting countries around the world, just as COVID-19 did at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020.

This respiratory disease has already begun to overrun hospitals in Beijing after the number of infected patients have risen dramatically over the last few months.

Face masks and social distancing have already been recommended across China to try and slow the spread. Many schools remain closed.

Last week it was reported that Pneumonia cases in Denmark and the Netherlands have reached "epidemic" levels as they became the latest European countries to see worrying increases in children with the illness.

Now some Indian states are bracing themselves for the virus to spread through the country by increasing medical supplies and briefing staff.

It is not known if and when this new disease may spread further around Europe.

University of Reading virologist Professor Ian Jones told The Daily Star that Britain "might get away with it this season" because we have a "small physical break" from Europe.

He said: "The important point is that this sort of 'bounce back' should be expected and the public health system should be aware of it."

Fever, cough, fatigue, green mucus and shortness of breath have all been highlighted by doctors in China as possible symptoms of the pneumonia strain although some people show no symptoms at all which makes it difficult to track.

A staff member at Beijing Friendship Hospital said: "Right now, we have a lot of kids here. Those who booked an emergency appointment yesterday still weren't able to see the doctor this morning."

The World Health Organisation is closely monitoring the spread of the virus.

A spokesperson said last week: "WHO requested additional epidemiologic and clinical information, as well as laboratory results from these reported clusters among children, through the International Health Regulations mechanism.

"We have also requested further information about recent trends in the circulation of known pathogens including influenza, SARS-CoV-2, RSV and mycoplasma pneumoniae, and the current burden on health care systems.

"WHO is also in contact with clinicians and scientists through our existing technical partnerships and networks in China."

Source link