The Directorate General of Health (DGS) is warning of the sudden increase in pneumonia leading to hospitalizations among children and adults in France.
- On November 24, the Directorate General of Health (DGS) warned health professionals against “an unusual increase in cases of respiratory infections” caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
- Sick adults and children required hospitalization.
- However, “the vast majority of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections are benign and resolve spontaneously.”
Since mid-October, an increase in respiratory illnesses among toddlers has been identified in China. This situation has seriously worried health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO), which “made a formal request to China for detailed information.” A few weeks later, France also recorded an increase in consultations for pneumonia with SOS Médecins, estimated at 36%, among those under 15 years old for the week of November 13 to 19, according to data available on the site. of Public health France.
Respiratory infections: “cases requiring hospitalization in adults and children”
In a message addressed to health professionals, on November 24, the General Directorate of Health (DGS) alerted doctors to “an unusual increase in cases of respiratory infections” caused by the bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae, “including cases requiring hospitalization in adults and children in France”. She recalls that this so-called “atypical” bacteria represents, after pneumococcus, the second cause of acute community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CAP). “Human-to-human transmission occurs via droplets and incubation is 1 to 3 weeks. The vast majority of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections are mild and resolve spontaneously,” can we read in the press release.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia: what are the symptoms?
In cases of pneumonia, patients may experience coughing, sputum, fever, chills, shortness of breath and chest pain. DGS also causes dermatological lesions, hepatic cytolysis (the destruction of liver cells) and muscle pain. “First-line probabilistic antibiotic therapy for Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia is based on macrolides, as monotherapy, according to the recommended dosages”, she adds. In the absence of immediate signs suggestive of atypical bacteria, practitioners must prescribe amoxicillin or the amoxicillin/clavulanic acid combination. “As a reminder, additional investigations (chest x-ray, PCR) depend on the severity of the pneumonia and should not delay the initiation of probabilistic treatment.”
The DGS intends to “specify the characteristics and current dynamics of the epidemic”
Faced with this increase in cases, the Directorate General of Health declares that it is continuing “its analyzes at the national level in order to clarify the characteristics and current dynamics of the epidemic”. It also asks the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) to ensure increased monitoring of the consumption of antibiotics used in winter as part of the fight against drug shortages.