Boy, 8, woke up partially paralysed and unable to speak after ‘mysterious’ pneumonia attacked his brain

A CHILD was left partially paralysed and unable to speak after developing a pneumonia-like illness.

It comes as an outbreak of the respiratory bug is overwhelming hospitals in China and sweeping Europe and the US.

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The boy was unable to speak and was paralysed down the right have side of his bodyCredit: Getty
Map reveals the countries hit by cases of pneumonia and those on high alert

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Map reveals the countries hit by cases of pneumonia and those on high alert

The eight-year-old from China had been suffering from a cough and high fever, before being admitted to hospital on November 1, according to People’s Daily News, the Chinese Communist Party’s daily paper.

Tests revealed the boy from the Eastern province of Nantong, near Shanghai, had mycoplasma pneumonia, an infection which affects the lungs.

As doctors did more tests, they also found the child was at high risk of blood clots. His blood had high levels of a protein responsible for blood clotting, the report said.

Three days after his diagnosis, a nurse noticed the boy had wet the bed while sleeping.

When the child woke, he was unable to speak and was paralysed down the right have side of his body.

An MRI scan found the boy had suffered from an ischemic stroke, a is life-threatening condition where the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off by a blood clot.

The doctors treating the child said the stroke was triggered by both the mycoplasma pneumonia and the high levels of protein in his blood.

Although the case appears to be extremely rare and unusual, a French study found children who have mycoplasma pneumonia may be more likely to suffer from a stroke.

Medics, from the Centre Hospitalier Sainte Anne, who led the research, said respiratory infections cause inflammation, which can lead to blood clots developing.

Doctors in China involved in looking after the boy were able to cut into the affected blood vessel and remove the clot, according to the paper.

The report did not say whether the child recovered.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae normally causes a mild flu-like illness and will typically clear up on it’s own.

But more severe illness will typically require a course of antibiotics, and can, in some cases, hospitalisation.

Hospitals in Beijing are currently “overwhelmed” with cases of children sick with respiratory illnesses, including pneumonia.

Youngsters lying on floors while hooked up to IVs after showing symptoms such as inflammation in the lungs and a high fever, but no cough.

A similar situation is developing almost 500 miles away in Liaoning.

Parts of Europe, including Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands, are witnessing a surge in cases

The US and Singapore have also recorded more infections than usual for this time of year.

The fast spread of Covid-19 in 2020 prompted strict public health restrictions, such as global and national lockdowns, which experts believe could be behind the surge.

The rise in cases has sparked fears other countries, including the UK, could be impacted over Christmas.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said it is “closely monitoring” the situation.

Professor Dame Jenny Harries, chief executive, said: “We need to keep an open mind about the cause of any increased reporting of clusters of disease, including of this illness in Chinese children.

“UKHSA is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to work with international partners to assess the emerging information as it becomes available.”

India, Indonesia, Nepal, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam have also been alerted to check for any likely similar outbreak.

The WHO officially requested “detailed” information last week as cases continued to rise.

What is pneumonia and what are the symptoms?

PNEUMONIA is inflammation of the lungs, usually caused by an infection.

This includes Covid, flu and RSV.

The most common symptoms include:

  • A cough – you may cough up yellow or green mucus (phlegm)
  • Shortness of breath
  • A high temperature
  • Chest pain
  • An aching body
  • Feeling very tired
  • Loss of appetite
  • Making wheezing noises when you breathe – babies may also make grunting noises
  • Feeling confused – this is common in older people

Most people get better in two to four weeks, but babies, older people, and those with heart or lung conditions are at risk of becoming seriously ill and requiring hospital treatment.

If you have pneumonia, you should:

  • Rest until you feel better
  • Avoid contact with other people
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen to provide pain relief or a fever
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough
  • Dispose of used tissues quickly
  • Wash your hands regularly with water and soap

Source: NHS

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