DOH reports four cases of ‘walking pneumonia’
MANILA, Philippines — Following the reported uptick in respiratory illnesses in China that drew global concern, the Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said the Philippines had four isolated cases this year of Mycoplasma pneumoniae, dubbed the “walking pneumonia.”
In a statement to reporters, the DOH said that one case was reported in January, another in July and two more were confirmed in September.
The health department noted that the reported infections were detected among individuals who had influenza-like illness (ILI).
It, however, reiterated that the Mycoplasma pneumoniae is not a new pathogen, and that the “existing surveillance (for Mycoplasma) is among ILI cases only.”
“This is not a notifiable disease globally. The DOH can scan but we depend on what the media or the World Health Organization (WHO) will report,” it added.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a bacterial infection that can cause damage to a person’s respiratory system. An individual can have the bacteria in their nose or throat and not exhibit any symptoms.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mycoplasma pneumoniae can spread via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Crowded areas like schools and hospitals are at risk for an outbreak.
ILI, on the other hand, was defined by the WHO as an acute respiratory infection with a measured fever of 38 degrees Celsius or higher as well as a cough that could last for 10 days. Cases of ILI in the country are on a steady decline, but are projected to increase again by January, the DOH said.
It urged the public to “perform individual self-assessment and, as needed, employ layers of protection such as masking, ensuring adequate ventilation, isolating when sick, as well as getting vaccinated and boosted to provide additional protection against infection or severe disease.”