Leachon Dr. Anthony ‘Tony’ C. Leachon shares a historic moment with Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna, both UST College of Science Awardees for Medical Profession, during the UST College of Science The Outstanding Alumni of Science Tribute (TOAST) held last April 1, 2023 at the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, OP Grand Ballroom in UST, Manila.

LEACHON: USE OF FACE MASK NECESSARY

April 19, 2023 Tess Lapuz-Lardizabal 2584 views

To prevent long COVID and spread of more contagious Arcturus subvariant if cases are detected in PH

DR. ANTHONY ‘Tony’ C. Leachon, independent health reform advocate, has revealed that the wearing of face mask could prevent the spread of the new COVID-19 subvariant, identified as subvariant 1.16 or subvariant Arcturus, if it enters the country.

Leachon, an internist-cardiologist at the Manila Doctors Doctors Hospital, and fondly as well as more popularly called ‘Doc Tony’, warned that it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the new and highly contagious subvariant enters the country even though no local case has been detected by the Department of Health (DOH).

“According to the World Health Organization, madaling makahawa ang subvariant Arcturus at madaling mag-cause ng sakit. It could also lead to long COVID. This is why, if ever it is detected in the country, wearing of face mask would be necessary to prevent its spread,” stressed Leachon.

Leachon also warned that the more contagious and highly pathogenic subvariant could also cause long COVID-19, thus the need for everyone to be more vigilant and not be complacent. He explained that long COVID-19 means a patient who has recovered could still suffer from its symptoms.

The past president of the Philippine College of Physicians bared that sore eyes, fever, difficulty in breathing, runny nose and sore throat are symptoms of the Arcturus subvariant. He, however, assured that it is not as threatening as the Delta sub-variant.

Aside from wearing face masks, Leachon urged those 18 years old and above to have their second booster dose as immunity wanes six to 12 months after the first dose.

Leachon also urged the Department of Health to vaccinate more people amid an increase of COVID-19 cases in the country and the looming rainy season, where the disease is more likely to spread.

In sync with Leachon’s suggestion, Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna also cited the need to make wearing of face masks mandatory following the hike in COVID cases — albeit not alarming — in the city.

Lacuna, in a text message to Leachon, stressed that,”Mas mahirap po maghabol. Mabuti na po yung nag-iingat.”

Leachon agreed with Lacuna, stressing the mandatory use of face masks or preventing COVID-19 is best as against containing another pandemic or curing runaway cases.

Besides, he added,’face masks are easy to wear.’ By TESS LAPUZ-LARDIZABAL & CAMILLE S. BALAGTAS