Walking pneumonia, also called mycoplasma pneumonia or atypical pneumonia, is a mild case of pneumonia, which is actually a lung infection attributable to mycoplasma pneumoniae organism. It doesn’t cause considerable disability suggesting that, even if not treated, it wouldn’t require a person to be hospitalized. Such pneumonia can come about because of several microorganisms, infection with viruses, for example, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, or atypical bacteria. Not like normal pneumonia, a patient affected by walking pneumonia can do everyday work and can easily move around.
Signs & Symptoms
While being affected by walking pneumonia, the patient may experience a fever, sore throat, runny nose, or other cold-like symptoms. In fact, at nights, cough might get worse as fluid accumulates in the lungs and moves up higher in the respiratory tract whilst lying flat. Serious signs could be reduction in oxygen blood levels, which can further result into dizziness or loss of consciousness. The major symptoms of walking pneumonia take about 1-3 weeks to appear, it begins with decline in energy level and exhaustive feeling. However, walking pneumonia doesn’t reveal clear symptoms in the early stage; with a passage of time, the patient may get through following symptoms.
- Lethargy or impulsive decline in energy levels
- Sudden chills
- Aggravating runny nose problem
- Severe pain in abdominal area, ears, eye, muscles, and chest
- Sore throat due to constant cough
- Cold (As the severity of cold increases, pneumonia reaches patient’s chest)
- Patient may undergo mild to severe headache, along with fever and throat problems
- Due to fatigue, patient may experience low and rapid breathing at times
With close contact, the bacteria which cause atypical pneumonia can be highly infectious. Good hygiene is the only key to prevent spreading of these bacteria. At present, there is no identified vaccine for the prevention of walking pneumonia.
For treating walking pneumonia, doctors usually prescribe some antibiotics. The most common antibiotics, prescribed for this problem, are erythromycin, clarithromycin, azithromycin, and tetracycline. While the antibiotics fight the infection, the patient will slowly recover within a week. Besides antibiotics, the patient must take rest and fluids to get better soon.