White Lung Syndrome is becoming a growing health concern among children, with a recent surge in cases in Ohio, USA. Following a mysterious pneumonia outbreak in China, this illness is marked by white patches on the lungs, accompanied by symptoms such as cough, fever, and fatigue. Younger children, especially those under five, may exhibit additional signs like sneezing, a runny nose, watery eyes, wheezing, vomiting, and diarrhea. Health authorities in Ohio suspect the outbreak may not stem from a new respiratory virus but could be linked to Covid-19, flu, RSV, or mycoplasma.
While not a novel disease, White Lung Syndrome garnered attention during an outbreak in China associated with various respiratory infections, including influenza, Covid-19, RSV, and mycoplasma pneumoniae. Dr. Ravi Dosi, a Pulmonary Medicine Consultant, emphasizes the global significance of this health issue, noting a considerable spike in cases.
Dr. S Vidya Nair, a Sr. Consultant in Pulmonology, describes White Lung Syndrome as a respiratory infection caused by multiple microorganisms, manifesting as white patches on lung X-rays. The sudden and rapid spread of this outbreak, particularly in China, prompted the adoption of the term “White Lung Syndrome” for quick identification.
Dr. Vikas Maurya, Director and HOD Pulmonology at Fortis Shalimar Bagh, details the progression of symptoms, starting with upper respiratory infection symptoms and progressing to lower respiratory tract involvement. The most common symptoms include cough, fever, and fatigue.
Treatment focuses on addressing pneumonia symptoms, with medications targeting cough and fever. Regular monitoring and oxygen therapy, if necessary, form part of the medical approach. Dr. Dosi underscores the importance of early medical intervention for proper diagnosis and treatment.
As the US enters flu season, Dr. Dosi urges preventive measures such as personal hygiene, handwashing, and flu vaccinations. Dr. Maurya emphasizes the role of precautions like masks and physical distancing in reducing respiratory infection risks. Dr. Nair advises staying at home with flu-like symptoms and consulting a respiratory specialist. For chronic respiratory patients, consistent medication use is crucial, and any changes in symptoms require prompt review consultation.