Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto on Monday reminded the public to mask up after he tested positive for COVID-19 anew.
The city chief shared that he took an antigen test after having “mild symptoms” of the infectious disease that has caused the global pandemic. He then canceled his affairs after learning of the COVID-19 positive result.
“Posting para humingi ng pasensiya sa lahat ng naka-schedule ngayong linggo!!” he wrote on his social media account.
“Ayaw niyo rin naman siguro ako ka-meeting habang tumutulo sipon ko, haha. Sunod pa rin tayo sa protocol, postponed [or] via Zoom muna lahat hanggang mawala ang sintomas,” Sotto added, referring to the popular videoconferencing platform.
He also reminded his constituents and the rest of the public to keep on masking in light of the reported increase in pneumonia cases this year, as well as the continued presence of COVID-19 in the community.
“Dagdag ko na lang din: paalala ng DOH na tumataas ang bilang ng kaso ng pneumonia, at nandiyan pa rin ang COVID, kaya highly recommended na mag-MASK tayo,” the mayor wrote.
“Lalo na kung may nararamdaman o kapag may nakakaharap na ibang tao,” he added.
He also included the hashtag “#staysafe” in his post.
Sotto also tested positive for COVID-19 in January 2022, the same period the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the community transmission of the infectious Omicron variant of the virus.
Pneumonia on the rise
Meanwhile, DOH Undersecretary Eric Tayag previously said that the country is on guard against a pathogen called Mycoplasma pneumoniae following a rise in cases of pneumonia in the country.
Countries such as China and the Netherlands have been reporting an increase in such cases due to the mentioned pathogen.
Tayag added that the bacteria is drug-resistant since “in China, it is 95 percent drug resistant.”
“This means that the antibiotics are not working; so many are hospitalized. We are having it checked now if that is also the case in the country… Another thing is that we don’t have such antibiotics for children less than eight years old. It is not recommended for them to take this medicine,” he said before.
The health expert said that while the Philippines has recorded the illness before, physicians nowadays would immediately prescribe antibiotics to a suspected patient once they detect the symptoms.
Tayag explained that the illness has the label of “walking pneumonia” because the patient can still feel “alright” despite being infected.
“Pero kapag pina-examine iyong x-ray, teka muna, may pneumonia ka,” he added.
The DOH also observed an increase in pneumonia cases in the country this year compared to 2022.
From January to October 2022, a total of 158,762 pneumonia cases were reported through it Field Health Services Information System.
It was 45.68% higher than the 108,982 cases reported in the same period in 2022.
Meanwhile, Mycoplasma pneumoniae are bacteria that can cause illness by damaging the lining of the respiratory system such as the throat, lungs and windpipe.
Those infected can have the bacteria in their nose or throat at one time or another without being ill.
Symptoms can appear one to four weeks after being infected. For adults, signs of the illness in adults include fever and chills, cough, fatigue and shortness of breath.
For children, they can have signs of a chest cold like sore throat, fatigue, fever, slowly worsening cough and headache.
On the other hand, those below five years old can manifest cold-like symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, watery eyes, wheezing, vomiting and diarrhea.
Mycoplasma pneumonia can be transmitted by coughing and sneezing. This can be prevented by masking, practicing cough and sneezing etiquette and handwashing for at least 20 seconds.