Reports of a “mysterious pneumonia” spreading globally have sparked concern among the public and medical experts alike. Despite claims that it is a normal seasonal occurrence, the increasing number of cases, rapid spread, and associated deaths cannot be ignored. While some experts have suggested Mycoplasma Pneumoniae, a bacteria often seen as a secondary infection in those with weakened immune systems, as the cause, laboratory diagnostics have shown that not all cases of the pneumonia exhibit the presence of this bacteria.
The lack of a definitive answer to the cause of this pneumonia surge is surprising, given the advancements in medical diagnostics and technology. Various respiratory pathogens, including the RSV virus, have been mentioned as potential culprits. Additionally, there is speculation about immune dysfunction due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Contrary to initial reports indicating that the illness primarily affects children, adults have also been infected. Furthermore, the disease has not only impacted China, Denmark, and the Netherlands but has also spread to other countries in Southeast Asia and East Asia.
In the United States, outbreaks have been reported in Ohio and Massachusetts, with concerns that it will continue to spread to other states. Similarly, the pneumonia disease has emerged in the UK, France, and Italy in Europe. While there have been reports of cases in Romania, further verification is still pending. Worrisomely, early data from China suggests that individuals exposed to the illness may develop accelerated fibrosis of the lungs, heart, and liver as a long-term complication.
Speculations have arisen regarding the possibility of new strains or hybrids of known pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, being responsible for these pneumonia cases. It is plausible that these new strains evade detection by existing testing methods. The limited genomic surveillance further complicates the identification of the causative agent. It is hoped that more conclusive information will be available in the coming week to shed light on this concerning global surge of “mysterious white lung pneumonia.”