Extremely High Number Of Pediatric Pneumonia Cases Being Reported


LEBANON, OH --  The Warren County Health District has received an extremely high number of pediatric pneumonia cases being reported this fall season. Since August, there have been 142 cases of pediatric pneumonia reported. Not only is this above the county average, it also meets the Ohio Department of Health definition of an outbreak. We do not think this is a novel/new respiratory disease but rather a large uptick in the number of pneumonia cases normally seen at one time.

To date, there has not been a definitive etiology determined or a common thread linking these pneumonias. We have an ongoing investigation to examine possible linkages and risk factors. The average age thus far is around 8 years old, the cases span multiple school districts, and there have been no conclusive patterns among the children diagnosed. Based on some data responses from a recent parent questionnaire, most common symptoms included cough, fever and fatigue. Among the pathogens recovered included Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Streptococcus pnuemoniae and Adenovirus.

WCHD is working with the Ohio Department of Health, local children’s hospitals and primary care providers in hopes to determine a cause and further prevent the spread of illness. One recommendation is for providers to have a lower threshold to test children presenting with cough, fever and/or fatigue and consider nasopharyngeal swabs for respiratory viruses, mycoplasma and pertussis. WCHD sent out a notification with education to Warren County providers last week in an effort to further clarify the nature of the outbreak.

As we approach the holiday season, when many of us will be gathering together with family and friends, please remember to take necessary precautions to protect your health: wash your hands, cover your cough, stay home when ill, and stay up to date on vaccines.

If you have any questions or need to report a pneumonia case, please contact the Warren County Health District at 513-695-2097.

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