Walking Pneumonia: What Is It, Causes, Symptoms & Treatments
Category: Lungs Diseases-Pulmonology
Walking pneumonia, also known as a typical pneumonia or mycoplasma pneumonia, is a milder form of pneumonia that typically presents with less severe symptoms compared to typical bacterial pneumonia. It is called "walking pneumonia" because the affected person can often continue with their daily activities, including walking, despite having the infection. This condition is most commonly caused by an atypical bacterium called Mycoplasma pneumonia.
Typically, the treatment of this condition involves over-the-counter medicines and antibiotics. The major difference between walking pneumonia and regular pneumonia are that the walking pneumonia is milder it typically doesn’t need hospitalization or bed rest. It can be diagnosed at any time of the year. But, it commonly occurs during the winter and fall. It may feel like you have the flu or bad cold. The best pulmonologist near me can diagnose it by conducting a physical examination and undergoing auscultation. Initially, they would ask about your symptoms and also ask about how long you are facing it.
Causes of Walking Pneumonia: Walking pneumonia is primarily caused by the bacterium Mycoplasma pneumonia. Unlike typical bacterial pneumonia, which is caused by more common bacteria like Streptococcus pneumonia, Mycoplasma pneumonia is an atypical bacterium. It is known for its ability to infect the respiratory tract and cause milder forms of pneumonia.
Mycoplasma pneumonia spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also be transmitted through close contact with an infected individual. The bacteria can survive on surfaces for a short period, contributing to its spread in crowded places like schools, college dormitories, and military barracks.
Symptoms of Walking Pneumonia: The symptoms of walking pneumonia can vary from mild to moderate and may resemble the symptoms of a common cold or flu. They usually develop gradually over a period of several days to a week. If you are facing severe symptoms that don’t disappear, make sure to contact a pulmonologist doctor near me.
Common signs and symptoms of walking pneumonia include:
- Persistent Dry Cough: A non-productive cough that may linger for weeks is a hallmark symptom of walking pneumonia. The cough may become more productive with yellow or green phlegm as the condition progresses.
- Mild Fever: The affected person may have a mild fever, usually lower than 102°F (38.9°C).
- Sore Throat: A sore or scratchy throat is common, along with irritation in the airways.
- Headache: Some individuals with walking pneumonia may experience mild to moderate headaches.
- Fatigue and Weakness: Feeling tired or weak is a common symptom, and individuals may have reduced energy levels.
- Muscle Aches: Generalized muscle aches and discomfort may occur.
- Chills: Some people may experience occasional chills or feel cold.
- Chest Discomfort: Mild chest discomfort or pain may be present, especially during coughing.
- Shortness of Breath: Most cases of walking pneumonia do not cause severe breathing difficulties, but some individuals may experience mild shortness of breath, especially during physical activity. In such cases, it is advisable to immediately get treatment from the super speciality hospital in Patna.
Walking pneumonia symptoms can be mild and non-specific, which may lead to underestimation or misdiagnosis. If the symptoms persist for more than a few days and worsen, or if there are concerns about respiratory distress, seeking medical attention is crucial for proper evaluation and diagnosis.
Walking pneumonia tends to affect young adults and children more frequently than older adults. In most cases, the condition is self-limiting, and individuals can recover with proper rest, hydration, and antibiotic treatment. However, some people may experience a more prolonged recovery period, and complications can occur, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems or pre-existing respiratory conditions.
In some cases, walking pneumonia may be mistaken for a common cold or flu, as the symptoms can be mild and non-specific. However, if the symptoms persist for more than a few days and worsen, it's essential to seek medical attention from the Patna best hospital for proper evaluation and diagnosis.
Diagnosis and Treatment: Diagnosing walking pneumonia typically involves a physical examination, review of symptoms, and sometimes chest X-rays or other imaging tests to evaluate the lungs. A blood test may also be conducted to check for specific antibodies against Mycoplasma pneumonia.
Treatment for walking pneumonia usually includes:
- Antibiotics: Although walking pneumonia is caused by a bacterium, it is typically treated with antibiotics. Macrolide antibiotics (such as azithromycin or clarithromycin) or tetracyclines (such as doxycycline) are commonly prescribed for this type of infection.
- Rest and Fluids: Adequate rest and staying well-hydrated are essential for recovery.
- Over-the-counter Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers and fever reducers (e.g., acetaminophen or ibuprofen) may be used to alleviate discomfort and reduce fever.
- Avoiding Contact: To prevent the spread of the infection, individuals with walking pneumonia should avoid close contact with others, especially those with weakened immune systems or respiratory conditions. The pulmonologists at Apollo hospital in Patna provides accurate treatment to combat the discomfort due to Walking Pneumonia.
Most people with walking pneumonia recover within a few weeks with proper treatment. It's important to complete the full course of antibiotics, even if symptoms improve, to ensure complete eradication of the bacteria. If symptoms worsen or breathing difficulties become severe, seek immediate medical attention as complications may occur, especially in vulnerable individuals.
In certain cases, the symptoms of walking pneumonia symptoms will fade within 3 to 5 days. However, a cough can persist for a few weeks or months. Treatment for this condition relies on the accurate diagnosis of cause. For example, if it is caused due to bacteria, it can be treated with antibiotics. In certain cases, the patients may also require to undergo laboratory tests. The high-risk individuals and patients severely facing from pneumonia may need hospitalization. The pulmonologist from the best hospital in Patna may go for an X-ray to differentiate between pneumonia and other respiratory ailments, like acute bronchitis. During the hospital stay, the patients will receive intravenous fluid, antibiotic therapy, and respiratory therapy (if there is trouble breathing).