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