pneumonia,DOH,pneumonia in young kids,DOH Issues Pneumonia Warning; Urges Face Mask Use,Covid-19,Health News,Medical Health,Infectious Diseases,Medical Literature & Resources,Health Conditions,Respiratory Conditions,Diseases and Conditions,bacterial pneumonia,lung disease,illness,disease,vaccination campaign,face mask mandate,pediatric vaccination,viral pneumonia,surgical mask,vaccination,The Department of Health says public should wear face masks when going outdoors to avoid pneumonia.
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Pneumonia Cases Soar By 46%; DOH Urges Public To Wear Face Masks

If you or your child has a cough for more than two weeks, consult a doctor.
PHOTO BYADOBE STOCK

The Department of Health (DOH) has recorded a total of 158,762 cases of pneumonia from January to October 2023. The numbers have surged by 46 percent from the 108,982 cases recorded during the same period last year.

DOH Assistant Secretary Beverly Ho advises the public, especially those in vulnerable groups, to wear face masks when going out. "Please be comfortable to still wear masks when outdoors," said Asec. Ho in a report by Inquirer. With the cooler months ahead, plus increased public gatherings, an increase in pneumonia cases is expected. Thus, wearing face masks is crucial to protect children and the elderly against respiratory illnesses.

Apart from urging the public to wear face masks, health officials are strengthening their monitoring and implementing catch-up immunization.

Asec. Ho recommended that individuals experiencing a cough for more than two weeks consult their doctor and not wait for symptoms to progress to more severe illnesses like pneumonia or tuberculosis.

What is 'walking pneumonia'?

DOH Secretary Dr. Eric Tayag earlier warned against a pathogen called mycoplasma pneumoniae, following the rise of pneumonia in the country.

In a radio interview on November 30, Dr. Tayag said this pathogen is among those being tested at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. “Doctors don’t usually have this (type) of bacteria tested. Once they suspect of such, they immediately recommend to take antibiotics," Dr. Tayag was quoted in a Philstar report.

He said that this type of bacteria is 95 percent drug-resistant in China, meaning, antibiotics don't work against this, reason why many are hospitalized. "We are having it checked now if that is also the case in the country," he added.


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READ ALSO: World Health Organization Seeks China Data Amid Spike In Respiratory Illnesses In Children

This type of bacteria is contagious, even if the infected doesn't exhibit any symptoms. 

"However, it is not fatal for those infected with this kind of bacteria. It is called ‘walking pneumonia’ since those suffering from this illness can still continue with their everyday activities," he explained.

What are the symptoms of pneumonia?

Pneumonia is the single greatest cause of death in children worldwide and the leading cause of illness and death among Filipino children under 5 years of age.

Pneumonia is transmitted through airborne droplets from coughs or sneezes, emphasizing the importance of wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the disease.

It is an inflammatory condition of the lung that affects the microscopic air sacs known as alveoli. Symptoms include cough, chest pain, fever, and difficulty breathing. 

Pneumonia is transmitted through airborne droplets from coughs or sneezes, emphasizing the importance of wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the disease.

To avoid a potential pneumonia outbreak, the World Health Organization urges the public to follow these precautions:

  • Observe proper handwashing
  • Wear face masks
  • Maintain a safe distance from ill individuals
  • Catch up on vaccinations
  • Stay at home when sick or unwell
  • Consult a doctor

How to know if your child's cough is only colds, flu, or something else? Read here.

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