No need for masks despite walking pneumonia – expert

Rhodina Villanueva - The Philippine Star
No need for masks despite walking pneumonia � expert
Just 34 days before Christmas, shoppers fill the streets of bargain centers of Divisoria in Manila on November 21, 2023.
STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — Despite reports that walking pneumonia cases have been recorded in the country, there is no need to revive the mandatory wearing of face masks, infectious diseases expert Dr. Rontgene Solante said yesterday.

“We don’t need mandatory face mask. If you remember, when we implemented this, it was born out of the reason that we didn’t want (COVID) cases to go up and for many not to get hospitalized,” Solante said in an interview on the Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon program.

“For now, hospitalization rate is really low. But to give the public additional layer of protection, we recommend the optional wearing of face mask,” he added. “We need to educate the public that around this time of the year, it would be better if we use face mask.”

“These are the learnings we got from COVID-19. We need to make people responsible that if there is this kind of illness during this month, we need to protect ourselves,” the expert added.

“We remind the public to be alert in terms of protecting themselves, especially with the coming holidays since there will be several gatherings and reunions,” Solante said.

“If you have respiratory symptoms, we discourage you from joining these gatherings. However, in the event that you need to attend, you have to wear a face mask. If you belong to the vulnerable population, there is a need to be vigilant and to protect yourselves,” he added.

Solante likewise explained that walking pneumonia or Mycoplasma pneumoniae is so mild to the point that a lot of these patients who have this type of pneumonia are not in the hospitals and are not so severe that they are just walking around.

“Most of the time, the symptoms will just be longer like seven to 10 days and in some patients, it can really last up to two weeks, but we don’t need an antibiotic for this, that’s why people have this walking pneumonia,” he said.

At the same time, Solante said that those with mild symptoms are not tested.

“Because we know that being mild, they don’t need to be treated so most of the time we don’t do tests for walking pneumonia,” he added.

“Given this mild type of respiratory infection like Mycoplasma pneumoniae, a lot of patients will recover but there are populations like children less than five years old and those who are 65 years old and above – those we call vulnerable population, that if they get this type of pneumonia, there is a possibility that it can become severe but the chance to proceed to severe is really very low if we compare this with COVID-19 or influenza,” said Solante.

Earlier, the Department of Health said that walking pneumonia is curable and the infection can be prevented by simply observing minimum public health protocols.

The DOH added that four cases of walking pneumonia have been recorded in the country from January to November, and all these patients have recovered from the infection.

The DOH also said the four cases of walking pneumonia were not new and it had been detected among those who got infected with influenza-like illness.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with