Uptick in Massachusetts child pneumonia cases has officials wondering

By Jen Krausz on
 December 2, 2023

Massachusetts has become the second state to have enough child pneumonia cases to qualify as an outbreak, leaving some officials wondering if the outbreaks are linked to a mysterious new illness in China, according to the New York Post.

Ohio is the other state that has had such an outbreak, but most doctors think many of the pneumonia cases are linked to RSV, a common illness that circulates this time of year.

“This is the season for RSV and we’re seeing a whole lot of it … a lot of kids with upper viral respiratory infections, cough, runny nose, some fevers,” Dr. John Kelly from Redwood Pediatrics in East Longmeadow told Western Mass News.

“And the thinking with RSV is that it can cause lower viral respiratory infections, so they get spread to your lungs," he continued, adding that there is no medicine to cure the disease once it takes hold, but that most patients get better in a few days.

RSV kills 10,000 Americans a year, mostly children and the elderly. “It is not uncommon for respiratory illnesses to spread in the community during this time of year," the Warren County Ohio Health District said.

Wouldn't Democrats just love to be able to shut down the country next fall because of some "mystery illness," though?