Upon William’s return from school, Mollee Campbell sensed something was amiss.
Her typically healthy 14-year-old son exhibited signs of distress – extreme paleness, difficulty breathing, and loss of consciousness. Rushed to the ER, physicians warned that William’s lungs were filled with fluid and his oxygen levels were critically low.
Speaking to DailyMail.com, Ms Campbell shared, “They said that if he went much lower it could have caused brain damage in some way. He was extremely scared.”
William’s symptoms were later diagnosed as mycoplasma pneumonia, also known as “white lung syndrome,” by the CDC. Cases in the Warren County Heath District in Ohio have surged, with 145 reported instances among 3 to 14-year-olds since August.
Local hospitals were overwhelmed, and pediatricians struggled to handle the increasing cases, as told by Ms Campbell. “They were overloaded with it in the last two or three days and they were just trying to make sure they had all the medicine they needed for all the kids.”
The outbreak in Ohio mirrors similar instances in Denmark and China, though Ohio health officials assert no link between the outbreaks in the state and viruses circulating in China.
As William’s distress escalated within days, Ms Campbell urges parents to act promptly if their children exhibit signs of the pneumonia strain. “It was a nightmare and I wish I would have taken him a little bit sooner… If your child doesn’t feel right, just contact somebody.”
The average individual affected by the illness is eight years old, with children in Ohio presenting symptoms such as cough, fever, and fatigue.
Other symptoms listed by the CDC include a sore throat, headaches, sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose, watery eyes, wheezing, vomiting, and diarrhea in children under five.
Mycoplasma pneumonia spreads through coughs and sneezes and is usually transmitted between individuals who spend extended periods together, such as households, schools, and healthcare facilities. The illnesses are not unusual during colder months.
Similar cases surfaced in China and Denmark, but no evidence exists to connect the Ohio outbreak with any other surges. Health officials maintain that the increase in cases adheres to typical seasonal trends in bacterial and viral activity.
It is crucial for parents to remain vigilant and seek medical attention if their child exhibits unexplained symptoms, as the strain of pneumonia can progress rapidly and lead to severe complications.