DOH-CL logs 51% increase in walking pneumonia cases

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- The Department of Health (DOH) in Central Luzon reported over the weekend that influenza-like illnesses or ILI cases, including "walking pneumonia" in Region 3 went up by 51 percent.

Surveillance data showed that the increase in the number of ILI cases was due to the cold season and activities during the past holidays, the agency said.

“There have been four confirmed cases of Mycoplasma or walking pneumonia as of November 25. However, these patients have successfully recovered from the infections. Currently, there are no cases or outbreaks of walking pneumonia in the Philippines based on the monitoring of the Epidemiology Bureau," the DOH said.

The agency issued tips on the prevention and treatment of ILI and "walking pneumonia".

DOH's move is expected to avert the spread and infection of others, especially individuals aged five to 20.

ILI symptoms include sore throat, fatigue, chest pain, mild chills, low-grade fever, persistent cough (dry or with mucus), sneezing, and headache.

Walking pneumonia (caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae) is categorized as atypical pneumonia due to its milder symptoms compared to typical pneumonia.

The contagious nature of walking pneumonia spreads through respiratory droplets during coughing, with an incubation period of two to four weeks.

The DOH recommends rest by getting six to eight hours of sleep, adopting a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and practicing good hygiene by washing hands often with soap and water.

The agency also advised the public to avoid crowded areas, covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, wearing masks or staying at home if not feeling well, and ensuring adequate ventilation, and that individuals should stay vigilant, practice health and safety precautions, and adhere to minimum public health standards to ensure individual and collective well-being.

DOH said "for additional protection, pneumonia and flu vaccines are available. If symptoms arise, wear a face mask or refrain from leaving home. Moreover, avoid going to school or work to protect co-workers or classmates."

For accurate diagnosis of ILI, Polymerase Chain Reaction has proven effective, using respiratory specimens for confirmation.

In terms of treatment, medications for walking pneumonia include antibiotics and over-the-counter drugs to relieve symptoms, and increased fluid intake is also recommended.

DOH noted that "walking pneumonia" does not require hospitalization, consulting a doctor for proper prescription and guidance is important.

“Although the majority of untreated cases resolve within two to three weeks without significant associated morbidity, treatment usually responds to appropriate antimicrobial therapy, such as antibiotics. However, patients needing antimicrobial therapy should still consult and get a prescription from their doctor," the agency added.

DOH said that "walking pneumonia" is not a new disease, and previous DOH surveillance had detected cases.


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