Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The bacteria that brought back memories of Corona… Learn about “Mycoplasma Pneumonia”.

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What is Mycoplasma Pneumonia?

  • This bacteria, as scientists know, belongs to the Mycoplasma family and causes pneumonia. It is the bacterial agent that causes the most severe pneumonia in the community after pneumococcus.
  • Common symptoms of infection are cough, fever and respiratory problems.
  • Although children and young adults are most susceptible to this bacterial infection, it can affect people of all ages.
  • The bacteria is spread through droplets or close contact, and the incubation period is usually one to three weeks.
  • Although Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections occur year-round, they are most common in the summer and fall.

    How big is the increase?
  • Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, these bacteria caused periodic epidemic waves approximately every 3 to 7 years, with the last occurring in late 2019-early 2020 in many countries, particularly in Europe and Asia.
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae has re-emerged this summer and the outbreak has increased significantly since early fall.
  • The first warning came from China, where respiratory infections, including Mycoplasma pneumoniae, have risen markedly in recent weeks.

  • Other Asian countries such as South Korea have seen similar increases.
  • An increase in these infections has recently been reported in Europe, including France, the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands and Ireland.
    The number of cases of Mycoplasma pneumoniae outbreak in France “since the beginning of autumn” exceeds the number of cases reported in 2022 and 2019, the French health authority explained on Thursday. ” condition.
  • In Denmark, the 541 cases registered last week represented three times the number registered five weeks ago, indicating that “epidemic levels” had been reached, the SSI health authority said.

    Increased risk

  • Some scientists believe that this outbreak of bacteria and other germs is one of the consequences of the closure and cessation of isolation measures, and distancing and protective measures against the Covid pandemic.
  • Cécile Pepierre, head of the department of bacteriology at the Bordeaux University Hospital, told Agence France-Presse: “We expected this return. For at least four years, no Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections have been recorded. We were very surprised by this bacteria. Viruses such as influenza and syncytial virus respiratory syndrome and other bacteria. Will not appear again.”
  • Several members of the European Mycoplasma Pneumonia Surveillance Group opined in an article published by the journal “Lancet Microbe” that “the re-emergence of Covid-19 long after the end of containment measures is remarkable”. of countries.
  • The scientists explained that the herd’s immunity to this bacteria has decreased since the recent outbreak, and that there is a special feature unique to Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
  • Cécile Pepiard explained that they are “less contagious bacteria than other viruses or other types of respiratory bacteria, and they reproduce more slowly.”

    What is the risk?

  • For the most part, Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections are benign.
  • It is diagnosed after ruling out other causes such as bronchitis, flu, covid or more serious pneumonia. In some cases, PCR testing may be performed to rule out the possibility of multiple other causes.
  • Some rare complications of mycoplasma pneumonia (exacerbation of asthma, etc.), or its various manifestations (skin, neuropathy, etc.) require hospitalization, and sometimes intensive care may be required. This is what happened to children and some adults in recent weeks.

    What is the treatment?

  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae is easily treated with antibiotics, especially macrolides including azithromycin, confirmed the World Health Organization in a report on respiratory infections in China.
  • However, attention should be paid to monitoring the presence of antibiotic resistance, especially with the current wave that may increase.
  • “Before Covid, in Asia, it was unreasonable to prescribe antibiotics, 80 percent of mycoplasma pneumonia strains were resistant in China, more than 90 percent in Japan. In France, antibiotic resistance did not exceed 10,” said Cecile Peppiard.
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Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
"Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert."

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