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A mysterious pneumonia outbreak in northern China is linked to hospitals “overwhelmed” with sick children.

Health officials in China say the pneumonia outbreak is not caused by a new pathogen or COVID-like virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) requested more information from China after health officials said the outbreak was caused by a common bacteria.

The U.S. ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, called on China to stop being deceptive about the pneumonia outbreak.

“China’s recent pneumonia outbreak raises serious questions, and the World Health Organization is asking them. It’s time to abandon COVID deception and delays,” Emanuel stated.

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Reports about “undiagnosed pneumonia” in northern China began circulating on November 21. Video footage and photos show hospital emergency rooms packed with children receiving intravenous fluids.

NBC News cited a report in the South China Morning Post that noted hospitals in northern China appear to be “overwhelmed with sick children.”

Health officials said drug resistance from the overuse of antibiotics had helped spread respiratory illnesses caused by mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria, or walking pneumonia, according to the report.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria usually causes “mild infections of the respiratory system,” that could lead to more serious illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta.

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The CDC says good hygiene (hand washing) is key to preventing the bacteria from spreading to others.