Uganda on Alert as Another Fast-spreading Respiratory Illness Breaks Out in China

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Uganda’s Ministry of Health has said it is closely monitoring the situation in China following the outbreak of another respiratory illness affecting mostly children in the Asian country.

The Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyoona said on Monday that they were “monitoring the situation” following reports that the United States Government was considering travel restrictions to and from China.

Some members of the US Senate late last week wrote to President Joe Biden to “immediately restrict travel between the US and the People’s Republic of China.” The senators accused the Chinese government of lying about the mysterious illness.

The World Health Organization has since requested more information from China about the surging illness, although it says there are no indications yet warranting international alarm.

Authorities in Taiwan, however, this week advised the elderly, very young and those with poor immunity to avoid travel to China.

The WHO’s request for information followed a report by the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases (ProMED) on clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia in children.

Some social media users have also posted photos of children receiving intravenous drips in hospitals, while media in cities such as Xian in the northwest have posted videos of crowded hospitals, fanning concerns about potential strains on the healthcare system.

The emergence of new flu strains or other viruses capable of triggering pandemics typically starts with undiagnosed clusters of respiratory illness.

Both SARS and COVID-19 were first reported as unusual types of pneumonia.

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