Health dep’t: No outbreak of  ‘walking pneumonia’

Health dep’t: No outbreak of  ‘walking pneumonia’

CASES of mycoplasma pneumoniae detected in the Philippines from January to November make up a small fraction of influenza-like illnesses that have been reported this year, according to the Department of Health (DoH).

Only four confirmed influenza-like illnesses during the period were due to the respiratory illness called “walking pneumonia,” it said in a statement on Thursday.

“More than half of confirmed influenza-like illnesses were due to other well-known and commonly detected pathogens,” the agency said, adding that the four walking pneumonia patients have recovered.

It said their surveillance systems could detect these respiratory diseases and could confirm through laboratories what may be causing them.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a known and common pathogen detected in the country in the past using various methods, it said. “The DoH reassures the public that detecting M. pneumoniae is not new or unusual.”

The disease is one of the influenza-like illnesses that cause a fever, sore throat and cough, DoH said.

“Those with a weak immune system and living in closed settings are at a higher risk for more severe [symptoms],” it said, adding that younger children might exhibit cold-like symptoms.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae could spread via respiratory droplets, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health Secretary Teodoro J. Herbosa on Tuesday said DoH had not reported any outbreak of “walking pneumonia.”

But Health Undersecretary Enrique “Eric” Tayag earlier noted that there’s no routine testing for the disease. He said the bacteria is 90% to 95% drug-resistant in China. — K.A.T. Atienza