COVID patients in China develop ‘white lung’ syndrome

Chinese authorities imposed a very strict lockdown when most COVID-19 patients were mild or asymptomatic, but suddenly lifted all restrictions as the pandemic moved to a rapid and severe phase.

Hospitals in big cities like Beijing and Wuhan are overcrowded. What the Chinese call the “white lung” syndrome has been observed in a large number of infected individuals.

Questions have been raised as to whether this is a new COVID-19 variant, the return of the original strain, or something else.

“white lungs”

“White lung” has recently become the most searched phrase on the Chinese Internet, and many CT images showing “white lung” are circulating on Chinese social media.

White lung syndrome refers to the alveoli of the lungs becoming filled with exudative or inflammatory cells that block the passage of light rays on CT scans or X-rays and appear as white areas. Co-founder of the Swiss biotech company Novartis in Switzerland. He was a former senior medical science expert in antiviral drug development at Pharma.

Epoch Times photo
A nurse observes an X-ray of the lungs of a COVID-19 patient at the Casalpalocco hospital, south of Rome, Italy, on October 13, 2021. (ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)

Former CCTV host Fan Deng shared his father’s case on Chinese social media. Before my father was taken to the hospital, he had no fever, no pain, had a good appetite, and everything seemed normal. “He was just a little sleepy,” Huang said. Taking his father to the hospital on Dec. 20 because Mr. Hwang noticed that his father’s blood oxygen levels were only 88 percent below his normal range of 95-100 percent. I made it

A CT scan revealed “large white areas” in Huang’s father’s lungs, indicating a severe case of pneumonia. Three days later, a fan told his friend on WeChat that his father had passed away.

Beijing resident Lin Bing (pseudonym) told The Epoch Times on Dec. 30 that many elderly people who developed “white lung” had no symptoms in the early stages of the disease.

She said she took her father to Beijing’s 301 Hospital for treatment of pneumonia caused by COVID-19 a few days ago and was shocked when he entered the hospital.

“Beijing 301 Hospital is currently overcrowded. Emergency rooms and intensive care units (ICUs) are overcrowded, and yellow bags of corpses can be seen in the corridors. Many elderly people have developed white lungs.Some of the infected elderly people had few symptoms at first, but later became sleepy and were taken to the hospital for testing. Some were transported to .By that time, we found that they had already developed white lungs,” Lin said.

“White lungs” are not limited to the elderly. Many cases shared on Chinese social media revealed that some young people in their 20s, 30s and 40s had also developed symptoms.

A social media blogger from Chongqing told the Epoch Times on Dec. 30 that his friend also developed white lungs during a COVID-19 infection. “Initial symptoms were mild and he tested negative for a lung infection. The thing is, he had no fever and had a very mild cough.”

Chinese state media Global Times reported on December 29 that Zhou Zhou (pseudonym), a 12-year-old boy from Wuhan, had a cough and was immediately taken to hospital because his parents were worried about cross-infection with other viruses. reported that he did not go to Patience. His cough did not subside after a course of medication for over a week, he began vomiting and experienced tightness in his chest, before his parents took him to the hospital where a CT scan revealed that his lungs It turns out that one side of the is white. Fortunately, Zhouzhou was able to recover.

Zhang Li, deputy director of the Department of Respiratory Medicine at Tongji University Shanghai Lung Hospital, told Shanghai-based media The Paper that patients with severe white lung have a mortality rate of over 40%.

Mutants or reappearance of wild type?

The white lung phenomenon has sparked a lot of speculation about the strain of virus causing it.

In the early months of COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan in 2020, social media users commented on the “white lung” infection in Wuhan. So some people in China have been asking if the original strain has relapsed.

Under public pressure, Zhao Yahui, medical director of the National Health Commission, said at a press conference on December 27 that the appearance of white lung had nothing to do with the original strain of Wuhan or vaccination. said no. The Chinese stock is still Omicron. On the same day, local authorities in Beijing and Wuhan also denied that the original strain had reappeared among Chinese patients.

However, given the Chinese Communist Party’s lies and unreliability, most social media users expressed distrust of these official statements.

Concerns about deadly variants

With China’s huge population of newly infected people and reports of critically ill patients overwhelming Chinese hospitals, many scientists have expressed concern that a virulent variant of the virus could re-emerge in China. .

“There is no doubt that many more Omicron variants will be developed in China in the coming days, weeks and months, but we are anticipating that the world will recognize it early and take swift action. What we have to do is worry about an entirely new variant,” said Fellow Daniel Lucey. A professor at the Infectious Diseases Association of America and a professor at Dartmouth College Geisel School of Medicine said: bloomberg“It could be more contagious, more lethal, or evade detection from drugs, vaccines, and existing diagnostics.”

Dr. Stuart Campbell-Ray, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins University, told The Associated Press that China’s large population and limited immunity, combined with two factors, could lead to new subspecies. Ray likened the virus to a boxer who “learns to get around the skills he has and adapt to get around it.”

Many countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, India and Taiwan, have reintroduced COVID-19 testing requirements for all travelers arriving from China.

Communist China’s “younger brother” North Korea has gone one step further, declaring on the China National Immigration Administration website that it will “temporarily ban Chinese citizens from entering”, and that North Korea has recently visited China, including All persons who are citizens must be placed under quarantine and observation for 30 days.

Sean Lynn

Sean Lin is a Chinese expat living in New Zealand. He has been writing for the Epoch Times since his 2009, focusing on China-related topics.

Olivia Lee