THE HINDU EDITORIAL

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False alarm: On the outbreak of influenza-like illness in China

The rise in flu cases in China is due to increased surveillance

China has claimed that the increased detection and reporting of respiratory illness in children was primarily due to enhanced outpatient and inpatient surveillance for respiratory illnesses covering a large variety of viruses and bacteria, including Mycoplasma pneumoniae. But this does not explain its failure to voluntarily keep the WHO informed about the unusually high number of cases last month. While China had reported a Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia surge in October, the reasons for the current outbreaks were less clear till the WHO requested for information. China is duty-bound to keep the WHO informed in time without being asked.