Mom in Ohio tells Daily Mail her son, 14, was hospitalized with same pneumonia ... trends now

Mom in Ohio tells Daily Mail her son, 14, was hospitalized with same pneumonia ... trends now
Mom in Ohio tells Daily Mail her son, 14, was hospitalized with same pneumonia ... trends now

Mom in Ohio tells Daily Mail her son, 14, was hospitalized with same pneumonia ... trends now

An Ohio mom has revealed how her healthy teenage son was 'hours away from  brain damage' after being struck down by the same pneumonia rising in China.

William McCarren, 14, was rushed to hospital Wednesday after he came home from school 'crying and grabbing his chest' saying he could 'barely breathe.'

'He was very pale and he could barely stay awake, he was acting like he was going to pass out,' his mother, Mollee Campbell, told DailyMail.com.

When he arrived at the ER, the doctors told her William's lungs were so full of fluid it was starving his body and organs of oxygen. 

'They said that if he went much lower it could have caused brain damage in some way,' said Mollee, holding back tears. 'He was extremely scared. We got really lucky.'

William was diagnosed with mycoplasma, the bacterial infection at the center of pneumonia outbreaks in China and several European countries.

He is one of more than 140 children in the Warren County area of Ohio to fall ill with the lung condition, where doctors say cases are so high they 'meet the definition of an outbreak'.

William McCarren, 14 and from Middletown, was rushed to hospital on Wednesday after he came home from school crying and saying he was struggling to breathe. He is pictured above in hospital

William McCarren, 14 and from Middletown, was rushed to hospital on Wednesday after he came home from school crying and saying he was struggling to breathe. He is pictured above in hospital

William is pictured above with his mother Mollee before he suffered from pneumonia

William is pictured above with his mother Mollee before he suffered from pneumonia

Mollee said: 'They [the pediatricians] said they were overloaded with it [pneumonia] in the last two or three days that that was all they had been seeing and they were just trying to make sure they had all the medicine they needed for al the kids.' 

'They did say almost the whole floor was nothing but children with pneumonia.'

Warren County health officials said Thursday that it has treated an 'extremely high' number of children with pneumonia - 145 cases since August.

The average patient is around 8 years old and no deaths have been reported, but the volume of patients is unusual. 

Mycoplasma is a bacterial infection that causes outbreaks every five or so years — but it rarely makes headlines because cases are mild and deaths extremely rare.

The difference this time, experts told DailyMail.com, is that children's immunity is low following lockdowns, school closures and mask mandates.

The bacterial infection is also believed to be driving the outbreak in China that has overwhelmed pediatric hospitals in the North. 

It is also driving cases and deaths in parts of Europe, including the Netherlands and Denmark.

But doctors have stressed the outbreaks are not the result of infections being transferred from country to country.

Will is pictured above during happier times

Will is pictured above while in hospital

Will (left before the illness and right in hospital) had fluid in both of his lungs, doctors said

The above highlights the two locations where rises in pneumonia cases in children have been reported in the US so far. They are Warren County, Ohio, and East Longmeadow, in Massachusetts

The above highlights the two locations where rises in pneumonia cases in children have been reported in the US so far. They are Warren County, Ohio, and East Longmeadow, in Massachusetts

Clad in hazmat suits, gloves and masks, the staff are shown walking between desks in classrooms, hallways and even outdoors while releasing a mist of sterilising liquid

Clad in hazmat suits, gloves and masks, the staff are shown walking between desks in classrooms, hallways and even outdoors while releasing a mist of sterilising liquid

This cycle of mycoplasma is happening at a time when children's immunity is weak because they were robbed of vital immunity during Covid lockdowns.

What is causing the 'white lung' pneumonia outbreak? Everything we know so far 

What is the current situation? 

The WHO has placed an additional request to China for more information on its outbreak and data showed the country is experiencing an increased number of children sick with mycoplasma pneumoniae – bacteria that causes mild infections of the respiratory system - since May.

And in signs eerily reminiscent of Covid, Chinese officials have called for masks and social distancing.

While China continues to deal with its own overrun hospitals and children out sick from school, outbreaks have begun to crop up in Europe.

On Thursday, Danish health officials said they were also dealing with a surge in the same type of pneumonia afflicting China.

What is causing the spike in pneumonia cases?

The outbreaks in the US, like China, are not being caused by a novel pathogen and not all of the pneumonia cases are being caused by the same infection.

Experts say a mixture of several seasonal bacterial and viral bugs are hitting at once, putting pressure on hospitals.

Many patients with respiratory symptoms are testing positive for a bacterium called mycoplasma pneumoniae, a pathogen that causes mild pneumonia.

Positive tests have also returned for adenovirus, a normally benign respiratory infection, and strep.

Dr Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, told DailyMail.com he believes the pneumonia outbreaks cropping up around the world could be due to the 'cyclical' nature of mycoplasma.

What is mycoplasma pneumoniae? 

Mycoplasma pneumonia is caused by a very small, 'atypical' bacterium called

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