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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Use COVID lessons to prevent ‘walking pneumonia’—Binay

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The government can use all the lessons it has learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that “walking pneumonia” and other respiratory illnesses do not escalate into another public health crisis, Senator Nancy Binay said yesterday.

Binay noted that the pandemic was an eye-opener for everyone, especially those in the public health sector.

Binay said that given the high number of respiratory cases and another expected increase in January, the government should put in place the appropriate and necessary measures to ensure the public health system is not pushed to the limit.

“Let’s do the necessary things like ensuring the availability of beds, medicine, and personnel, among others. Let’s ensure there will not be another public health emergency,” she said.

She echoed the health department’s call for the public to observe minimum public health protocols to avoid being infected, especially as the holiday season approaches.

“It’s the holiday season and the height of Christmas parties, reunions, and other social gatherings. If we are sick, let us be mindful not to transmit our disease. This can be our Christmas gift to one another,” she said.

The Department of Health (DOH) recently reported that there have been four cases of Mycoplasma pneumoniae or “walking pneumonia” from January to November this year.

However, the DOH clarified that these four cases were not new and had been detected among those who got infected with influenza-like illness (ILI).

There has also been a rise in ILI cases nationwide, with 182,721 cases recorded between Jan. 1 and Nov. 11. The figure was 51 percent higher than the 121,160 cases reported in the same period in 2022, the DOH noted.

The DOH said that only 0.08 percent of the ILI cases from January to November 25 were due to M. pneumoniae. More than half of the confirmed ILI cases were due to other well-known and commonly detected pathogens, it added.

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