Metro Manila– The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed the presence of four cases of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection, commonly referred to as “walking pneumonia,” in the country as of November 25, 2023. These cases were reported in morbidity weeks 3, 30, 37, and 38, with one case each. Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a bacterial infection affecting primarily younger children, treated with antibiotics according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The DOH clarified that walking pneumonia is not a new pathogen and has been previously identified in other cases. Globally, it is not classified as a notifiable disease, with China being the only country to report incidents of Mycoplasma pneumonia.
Health Undersecretary Eric Tayag emphasized that there are no locally reported cases presently, although the Philippines has recorded the illness before. Tayag explained that current medical practices involve promptly prescribing antibiotics for suspected patients showing symptoms of the illness.
In response to the situation, the DOH is urging the public to adhere to minimum health standards, including hand washing, social distancing, mask-wearing (especially for vulnerable individuals and those with coughs and colds), and vaccination, to prevent the further spread of respiratory infections. Staying informed and following recommended preventive measures is crucial as health authorities closely monitor the situation.