Metro Manila, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed there are four cases of “walking pneumonia” in the country.

“As of November 25, 2023, there are a total of four confirmed cases of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection among reported Influenza-like Illness (ILI) cases. These cases have been reported in the previous morbidity weeks 3, 30, 37, and 38, with one case each,” the DOH said at a briefing.

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes Mycoplasma pneumoniae as a common bacterial infection that typically affects younger children. It is treated by antibiotics, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The DOH added walking pneumonia is not a new pathogen and has been previously detected among other cases

“This is not a notifiable disease globally. The DOH can scan but we depend on what the media or the World Health Organization will report. So far, the only country that has recorded incidents of Mycoplasma pneumonia is China,” the agency added.

On Monday, Health Undersecretary Eric Tayag told CNN Philippines there were no cases reported locally as the illness infects more people in China.

Tayag explained the Philippines has recorded the illness before, but physicians nowadays would immediately prescribe antibiotics for a suspected patient once they detect the illness’ symptoms.

The DOH is urging the public to prevent respiratory infections from spreading even further by practicing minimum health standards including washing of hands, social distancing, wearing of masks especially among the vulnerable and those who have cough and colds, and getting vaccinated.