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DOH: Wear face masks vs walking pneumonia

by Carl Santos

THE Department of Health has urged the public, especially vulnerable groups like the elderly, to wear face masks to prevent catching the bacteria that causes walking pneumonia. 

“Magsuot pa rin tayo ng mask lalo na ang ating mga senior citizen na puwede nang pumila po ngayon. Libre po ang bakuna sa influenza,” DOH Undersecretary Eric Tayag told reporters on Saturday.

Tayag said mycoplasma pneumoniae infections are generally so mild that some people are not even aware they are sick.

“Ang mycoplasma pneumoniae ang nagiging sanhi ng tinatawag nating ‘walking pneumonia’. Ibig sabihin nung walking pneumonia, pag-inexray mo ang isang tao, meron nang findings sa chest X-ray. Pero naglalakad pa rin, parang wala siyang nararamdaman,” he said.

“At ang kaibahan ng mycoplasma pneumoniae ay tatlong linggo na inuubo ka pa rin. So kung kayo po ay inuubo na ng matagal, bukod sa tuberculosis, baka meron na kayong walking pneumonia,” Tayag added.

The DOH recently said influenza-like cases in the country were still increasing, but at a slower pace.

It also allayed concerns about the rising number of respiratory illnesses in China, even as it continuously monitors the situation.

”The surge is linked to eased COVID-19 restrictions and the onset of the cold season, as stated by China’s National Health Commission,” the DOH said in a statement.

”We want to reassure our kababayans that, as of now, there is nothing to worry about.”

Northern China has recorded an increase in “influenza-like illness” since mid-October when compared to the same period in the previous three years, according to the World Health Organization, which had requested more information on the situation.

The WHO said on November 23 that Chinese authorities had responded, advising “that there has been no detection of any unusual or novel pathogens or unusual clinical presentations, including in Beijing and Liaoning.”

It was a matter, the authorities said, of the “aforementioned general increase in respiratory illnesses due to multiple known pathogens.”



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