Fears have risen that Britain could be hit by its own outbreak of China’s “mystery” pneumonia.
Officials in Beijing have sounded the alarm over an unusual spike in cases among children. They have ruled out a new virus and instead blamed it on a winter surge in respiratory illnesses, including a bug called mycoplasma pneumoniae.
But an alarming surge of the “myco” bug is sweeping the world with cases exploding in the Netherlands, Denmark and parts of the US.
READ MORE: 'White lung syndrome' warning – five symptoms to look out for as child pneumonia cases soar
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Professor Ian Jones, a virologist at the University of Reading, said: "As we have a small physical break with Europe we might get away with it this season.
"The important point is that this sort of ‘bounce back’ should be expected and the public health system should be aware of it."
The bacterial infection typically causes a flu-like illness, sometimes called “walking pneumonia” because of its mildness, with children being particularly vulnerable.
It comes as the Daily Star notes five key symptoms to look out for as the cases of child-oriented pneumonia continue to soar in parts of China, with hospitals in Beijing currently overrun.
White lung syndrome includes some awful symptoms which could prove far more common now cold weather is settling in, and may be confused with common cold and flu concerns.
Fever, cough, fatigue, green mucus and shortness of breath were all highlighted by doctors as possible symptoms of the grim and mysterious pneumonia strain surging through China, which is currently reaching "epidemic" levels.
The disease is currently more likely to affect children than anyone else but doctors are urging members of the public to stay wary and keep a tab on their developing symptoms. Doctors in Denmark believe the disease can be prevented with hand washing and staying home when sick.
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