Danish medical institute declares ‘cold pneumonia’ epidemic

Image of a girl coughing.

Image of a girl coughing. Credit: Josep Suria/Shutterstock.com

DENMARK is suffering a mycoplasma infections epidemic according to the country’s Statens Serum Institut (SSI).

In a statement released on Wednesday, November 29, the medical entity announced that an increasing number of Danes had tested positive for the respiratory infection Mycosplasma pneumoniae. As a result, the situation could be categorised as an epidemic it confirmed, as reported bt.dk.

Hanne-Dorthe Emborg, a senior researcher at SSI, explained that there were ‘significantly more cases than usual’. What is also commonly known in Denmark as ‘cold pneumonia’ was affecting the whole country she said.

‘Mycoplasma infections come in waves, where the disease affects the groups in the population that have not yet built up immunity. That is why it is also typically a disease seen among school children aged 6-12’, Emborg detailed.

According to the senior researcher, epidemics of mycoplasma infections typically occur every four years in Denmark. It is higher in young children because they have typically not been exposed to it before.

The most recent cold pneumonia epidemic occurred from 2015 to 2018. At that time, there were so many cases that the epidemic lasted three consecutive seasons.

‘In the past almost four years, the number of mycoplasma infections has been extremely low, and it is therefore not unusual that we have an epidemic now’, Emborg pointed out. ‘We have actually been waiting for it since we closed the country after the Covid-19 pandemic’, she concluded.

As detailed in the SSI statement, the normal symptoms associated with cold pneumonia are similar to those you get with the common flu. These include headache, fatigue, sore throat and long-lasting and dry cough, especially at night.

Many of those affected will also get a fever, but it is rarely reached temperatures as high as you would experience with ‘classic pneumonia’, it explained. Regular penicillin does not work for cold pneumonia the SSI added.

The authorities in the Netherlands and also Sweden have recently reported a worrying increase in children with a form of pneumonia.

There is also a worrying spate of respiratory infections in the Chinese city of Beijing where children have reportedly been hospitalised after suffering dangerous inflammation in their lungs. Fresh data about the situation has been demanded from the Chinese authorities by the World Health Organisation.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com