The recent outbreak of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection in the Mainland has caused many parents to worry, while there have also been sporadic cases in Hong Kong. According to the DH's routine spot checks, no cases were detected in the first half of this year, but sporadic cases began to be detected in the second half of the year, among which the positivity rates of the samples sampled in September and October increased to 9.10% and 1.3%, although the numbers were not serious, but there was also a risk of community outbreak


Written by: Lian Weici, Medical Advisor and President of the Society of Infectious and Infectious Diseases


Medical Advisor and President of the Society of Infectious and Infectious Diseases

Mycoplasma pneumoniae is not a virus, but a bacterium, and a community outbreak may occur every 3 to 7 years. Similar to respiratory illnesses such as COVID-<> and influenza, acute respiratory infections such as fever, cough, sore throat, tiredness and headache are common in healthy and young children, but most patients are not particularly severe. As for some patients with weakened immunity or severe illness, serious complications such as rash and anemia may occur.

Droplets from coughing and sneezing are the main route of transmission of Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and the bacteria tend to spread quickly among people, especially in places with high concentrations of children, such as schools and playgrounds.

Droplets from coughing and sneezing are the main route of transmission of Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and the bacteria tend to spread quickly among people, especially in places with high concentrations of children, such as schools and playgrounds. (File photo / Photo by Wu Zhongkun)

Some of the cases sought in recent months were suspected to be infected with Mycoplasma pneumoniae. If the doctor has any doubts, he will arrange for the patient to undergo a nucleic acid test on the respiratory tract sample, so that the diagnosis can be confirmed within a short period of time, so that the doctor can further diagnose the disease and arrange medication. Among the clinical cases, there have been cases in which children sought medical treatment and their parents indicated that they or their relatives and friends had similar symptoms earlier, which showed that they would form clusters of infection and easily spread the infection to those around them. Therefore, maintain personal hygiene, wash hands frequently, and wear a mask when necessary.

Recently, there have been some reports that children may need lung lavage if they are infected. In Hong Kong, it is commonly referred to as "bronchoscopy", which is a method of placing a bronchoscope into the lungs through the mouth or nose and then flushing the lungs with saline.

Generally speaking, because "lung washing" is an invasive treatment and may require anesthesia, unless the lungs are filled with a large amount of thick sputum, or the thick phlegm obstruction leads to atelectasis and other severe pneumonia patients, bronchoscopy treatment is not considered, and ordinary patients generally only need to prescribe appropriate medicines, such as prescription antibiotics, antipyretics, cough suppressants and other supportive medications.

As for the white lung phenomenon caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection, in general, the lungs of pneumonia patients will appear white when they are examined on X-ray, and in severe cases, the white image will take up more area. Some doctors describe it as white lung, but it is not unique to Mycoplasma pneumoniae, other pathogens such as pneumococcal caused pneumonia may also be the same during X-ray examination, and the most important thing is to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you feel unwell.

It is said that Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection can cause white lung, and in general, the lungs of pneumonia patients will appear white when they undergo X-rays, but this is not unique to Mycoplasma pneumoniae. (Dongguan Maternal and Child Health Hospital)

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