Who Gets Walking Pneumonia
As we discussed earlier, walking pneumonia is common in people who are routinely exposed to crowded places. Similarly, children who are in their school-going age and adults, younger than 40 years of age, are generally most likely to suffer from walking pneumonia. However, this doesnt mean that people belong to other age groups and social environment cannot get walking pneumonia.
It is also worth mentioning that to catch walking pneumonia, one generally needs to be exposed to the M. pneumoniae multiple times. Often, it is observed that the cases of pneumonia peak during late summer or fall seasons however you can contract walking pneumonia pathogen anytime during the year.
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When Should You Call Your Doctor
The faster you get treatment, the faster you will get over pneumonia. This is especially true for the very young, for people older than 65, and for anyone with other long-lasting health problems, such as asthma.
911 or other emergency services immediately if you:
- Have chest pain that is crushing or squeezing, is increasing in intensity, or occurs with any other symptoms of a heart attack.
- Have such bad trouble breathing that you are worried you will not have the strength or ability to keep breathing.
- Cough up large amounts of blood.
- Feel that you may faint when you sit up or stand.
if you have:
- A cough that produces blood-tinged or rust-coloured mucus from the lungs.
- A fever with shaking chills.
- Difficult, shallow, fast breathing with shortness of breath or wheezing.
- Frequently brings up yellow or green mucus from the lungs and lasts longer than 2 days. Do not confuse mucus from your lungs with mucus running down the back of your throat from your nasal passages . Post-nasal drainage is not a worry.
- Occurs with a fever of 38.3Â°C or higher and brings up yellow or green mucus from the lungs .
- Causes you to vomit a lot.
- Continues longer than 4 weeks.
Also call your doctor if you have new chest pain that gets worse with deep breathing and if you have other symptoms of pneumonia, such as shortness of breath, cough, and fever.
How To Tell If You Have Walking Pneumonia
February 5, 2019 By Caitlin Hartwyk
Were all familiar with the sense of dread that comes when you realize youre getting a case of the winter sniffles often cold or flu. Although, its thought that over two million Americans actually deal with walking pneumonia each year, and many may not even realize it.
What is Walking Pneumonia?
If youve never heard of walking pneumonia, youre not alone. The disease goes unheard of for many, despite affecting 2 million people in the United States every year.
Walking, or atypical, pneumonia is a lung infection caused by a different bacteria than the regular disease. The CDC states it, might have slightly different symptoms, appear different on a chest X-ray, or respond to different antibiotics than the typical bacteria that cause pneumonia.
For example, antibiotics are required and routinely prescribed to treat pneumonia. But, the M. pneumoniae bacteria is resistant to the same medicine. Beta-lactam antibiotics such as penicillin cannot be used to treat M. pneumoniae. This is part of the growing, worrying trend of AMR, or antimicrobial resistance.
Even when it comes to atypical pneumonia, there are several different types. Atypical pneumonia could come in the form of Mycoplasma pneumonia, Legionnaires disease, Chlamydophila pneumonia and psittacosis. Mycoplasma pneumonia is by far the most common variety of walking pneumonia.
How Do I Know if I Have Walking Pneumonia?
Who is Most Often Affected by Atypical Pneumonia?
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What Are The Types Of Pneumonia
There are many different types of pneumonia that are generally categorized based on where an infection was acquired and the underlying cause of the infection. Some common categories of pneumonia include:
- Community-acquired pneumonia: When pneumonia occurs in people who have not recently been in the hospital, it is classified as community-acquired pneumonia. This includes walking pneumonia, which is a nonmedical term that refers to pneumonia with mild symptoms.
- Hospital-acquired pneumonia: This type of pneumonia develops as a result of an infection contracted while a person is in a hospital.
- Ventilator-associated pneumonia: A ventilator is a device that uses a breathing tube to help people who are not able to breathe on their own. When people contract pneumonia as a result of using a ventilator, it is called ventilator-associated pneumonia.
- Pneumocystis pneumonia: This type of pneumonia is caused by a fungal infection and is most common in people who have a weakened immune system.
- Aspiration pneumonia: Aspiration pneumonia can occur when food, saliva, vomit, or another substance manages to enter the lungs. These substances can carry infectious pathogens or inflame or block the lungs and cause a pneumonia infection.
Recognizing the category of pneumonia can help doctors more quickly identify the specific germ causing the infection and initiate the treatment that is most likely to be effective.
Best Home Remedies For Pneumonia:
Are you wondering how to break up pneumonia? Rather than fighting this sickness for weeks, its better for your overall health to fight it quickly.
These effective home remedies for pneumonia use simple, inexpensive ingredients you probably already have in your home, and they do not cause the unwanted side effects that come with commercial remedies.
Lets learn how to treat your pneumonia with simple solutions that you can brew up at home in minutes. One of these 21 remedies is sure to solve your problem.
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Mycoplasma Pneumonia Antibody Igm Igg Test
This test looks for antibodies to Mycoplasma Pneumoniae. Mycoplasma Pneumoniae is a type of bacteria that causes infections of the respiratory system. M. Pneumoniae infections tend to cause milder symptoms than other types of pneumonia. For this reason, M. Pneumoniae is sometimes referred to as walking pneumonia. The most common symptoms of M. Pneumoniae are sore throat, fever, cough, headache, and fatigue. Mycoplasma Pneumoniae can be treated with antibiotics. In some cases, when left untreated, M. Pneumoniae can progress to a more severe infection.
This test looks for both IgM and IgG antibodies. IgM antibodies typically develop shortly after infection and then decline over time. IgG antibodies begin to develop after IgM antibodies and can remain at detectable levels for life, even after a person has been successfully treated. Testing for Mycoplasma Pneumoniae antibodies can help differentiate it from other types of infections that cause similar symptoms. These tests can also help determine if a person has an acute or chronic infection. Multiple tests are sometimes ordered over time to monitor how antibody levels rise and fall.
The turnaround for this test is typically 3-6 business days.
Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.
What Makes You More Likely To Have Pneumonia
It is important to talk to your doctor about your risks of developing pneumonia and which vaccines will help protect you from it. Dr. Manuelpillai
Youre most at risk for pneumonia if you:
- Are older than 65 years old or less than 6 months old, but particularly less than 2 months and/or born preterm.
- Close contact with someone who is sick.
- Use tobacco or are exposed to second-hand smoke.
- Use drugs or chronic alcohol use.
- Recently hospitalized.
- Have underlying medical issues, like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , heart disease, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, renal disease, sickle cell disease, asplenia, tuberculosis risk factors, or the flu.
- Are immunocompromised, such as having HIV, receiving chemotherapy or radiation, regularly taking steroids, had a transplant, or have sickle cell disease.
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Critical Role Of Pneumococcal Vaccine In Preventing Pneumonia
In children aged three months to four years, the most common type of bacterial pneumonia is Strep. pneumoniae. In children greater than age four, it remains in the top three most common types. The pneumococcal vaccine series, started at two months of age, significantly reduces the rates of bacterial pneumonia from Strep. Pneumoniae. The vaccine is usually administered during wellness or prevention visits and cannot be given to a child with a fever. This emphasizes the need for healthcare access globally.6
With global vaccination rates currently plateauing, the challenges of diagnosing and treating community acquired pneumonia are even more pertinent for prevention of severe respiratory illness. Vaccine uptake challenges can be overcome with global measures to increase the access and use of vaccines. Addressing vaccine use and providing education about common pneumonia symptoms can aid in early diagnosis of pneumonia and lower the rate of severe respiratory illness and prolonged hospitalization.
World Health Organization Health Topics. Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals: National programs and systems on improving vaccination demand and addressing hesitancy. 17 June 2020 update.
Popovsky EY, Florin TA. Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Childhood. Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences. 2020 B978-0-08-102723-3.00013-5. doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-102723-3.00013-5
Walking Pneumonia Symptoms Treatment Recovery Time And Contagiousness
Dr. Suresh Kumar lives in India and enjoys writing about medical topics.
A chest X-ray showing the presence of pneumonia
Summary of information on walking pneumonia. For more detailed information, read the respective section below.
It is a mild case of pneumonia not caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae.
It is also known as atypical pneumonia.
What are the symptoms?
It might be mistaken for the common cold or a mild case of the flu.
Symptoms usually occur about 2 weeks after an infection.
Is it contagious?
Yes. It is easily transmitted by coughing or sneezing.
You are considered contagious up to 10 days after infection. Living or working in crowded areas increases the likelihood of catching it.
How is it treated?
Most cases tend to go away on their own. More serious cases are treated with antibiotics.
Macrolide antibiotics, fluoroquinolones, and tetracyclines can all be prescribed.
How long does it take to recover?
It varies from a few weeks to a few months.
Antibiotics may help speed the recovery.
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How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Sometimes pneumonia can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are so variable, and are often very similar to those seen in a cold or influenza. To diagnose pneumonia, and to try to identify the germ that is causing the illness, your doctor will ask questions about your medical history, do a physical exam, and run some tests.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your signs and symptoms, and how and when they began. To help figure out if your infection is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, you may be asked some questions about possible exposures, such as:
- Any recent travel
- Exposure to other sick people at home, work or school
- Whether you have recently had another illness
Your doctor will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. If you have pneumonia, your lungs may make crackling, bubbling, and rumbling sounds when you inhale.
If your doctor suspects you may have pneumonia, they will probably recommend some tests to confirm the diagnosis and learn more about your infection. These may include:
- Blood tests to confirm the infection and to try to identify the germ that is causing your illness.
- Chest X-ray to look for the location and extent of inflammation in your lungs.
- Pulse oximetry to measure the oxygen level in your blood. Pneumonia can prevent your lungs from moving enough oxygen into your bloodstream.
- Sputum test on a sample of mucus taken after a deep cough, to look for the source of the infection.
What Is Walking Pneumonia: How Long Does It Last & Is It Contagious
Walking pneumonia is a generic term for mild pneumonia which is caused by lung infection. This is also known as atypical pneumonia and is not counted in the category of serious ailments. Let us understand what walking pneumonia is, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and recovery. There are many queries regarding walking pneumonia, about how long does it last and whether it is contagious. Let us understand about these in detail.
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Articles On Pneumonia Types
âWalking pneumonia” sounds like it could be the name of a sci-fi horror flick. But it’s actually the least scary kind of pneumonia. It can be milder than the other types, and you usually donât have to stay in the hospital. You could have walking pneumonia and not even know it.
How Can I Help Prevent Walking Pneumonia In My Child
Some types of pneumonia can be prevented with a vaccine. But no vaccine is available for an infection caused by the bacteria M. pneumoniae.
You can help your child prevent walking pneumonia with good hygiene. Teach your child to cover his or her nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Your child should also wash his or her hands often. These measures can help prevent other infections, too.
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So Hows That Different Than Regular Pneumonia
Pneumonia is generally a more serious lung infection. It can also be caused by bacteria or viruses .
No matter the cause, the infection causes your immune system to fill the air sacs in the lungs with mucus, pus, and other fluids. This makes it difficult for oxygen to reach your blood.
Though the symptoms of bacterial pneumonia and viral pneumonia arent exactly the same, Dr. Chaisson says both tend to cause shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and feeling more tired than usual.
Going To The Hospital
If you have severe pneumonia, you may have to go to the hospital:
- In most cases of pneumonia you get in your daily life, such as at school or work , it is not necessary to go to the hospital.footnote 2
- About one-third of people with community-based pneumonia are age 65 or older.footnote 2 Older adults are treated in the hospital more often and stay longer for the condition than younger people.footnote 2 Pneumonia is more serious in this group, because they often have and may develop other medical problems.
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What Increases Your Risk
You are more likely to get pneumonia if you:
- Smoke. Cigarette smoking is a strong risk factor for pneumonia in healthy young people.
- Have another medical condition, especially lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma.
- Are younger than 1 year of age or older than 65.
- Have an impaired immune system.
- Take medicine called a proton pump inhibitor that reduces the amount of stomach acid.footnote 3, footnote 4
- Drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
- Recently had a cold or the flu.
You are more likely to have complications of pneumonia and need to go to the hospital if you:
- Are older than 65.
- Have some other illness , or have gone to the hospital for a medical problem within the last 3 months.
- Have had your spleen removed or do not have a working spleen .
- Have an alcohol use problem.
- Have a weak immune system.
- Reside in a place where people live close together, such as a university dorm or nursing home.
Getting Tested For Pneumonia
Pneumonia tests are ordered by a doctor and normally performed in a medical setting like a hospital or doctors office. Depending on the type of test, other medical specialists, such as a pulmonologist who focuses on lung conditions, may be a part of your health care team.
If you have symptoms of pneumonia or have recently been diagnosed with pneumonia, you should talk with your doctor about the most appropriate testing and where it can be performed.
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Sputum Culture And Gram Stain
The gold standard for diagnosing bacterial infection is culture. Unfortunately, collecting a good-quality sputum sample can be difficult, especially if someone has a dry cough. It often gets contaminated with normal bacteria that live in the respiratory tract.
A sample should be collected before you are treated with antibiotics. You’ll be asked to cough up some sputum with as little saliva as possible. If you are having trouble doing so, a healthcare provider may use a device with a light and tiny camera placed down your throat. They will help relax you with medications during the procedure, and there are few side effects outside of a potential slightly sore throat.
Once collected, a Gram stain is applied to part of the specimen and examined under a microscope. A good-quality sputum sample will show several white blood cells but few epithelial cells. Bacteria will appear red or violet and, based on their appearance, can be categorized as one of two classes of bacteria. Narrowing the diagnosis makes it easier to choose an appropriate antibiotic.
To find out what specific bacteria is causing your illness, your sample will be cultured in Petri dishes. Once the bacteria or fungi grow, it is tested against different antibiotics to see what treatments will be most effective.
Causes Of Walking Pneumonia In Adults
- Infection of the lungs by bacteria results in walking pneumonia in adults. When an individual has walking pneumonia, the lungs, its air sacs and other tissues get infected and there is accumulation of mucus, pus and other fluids. This prevents the oxygen from the lungs to read the cells of the body and the bloodstream, which results in the symptoms of walking pneumonia.
- Walking pneumonia is contagious and is spread through contact with the mucus and spit of infected individuals. The infection may spread when adults with walking pneumonia sneeze or cough. Hence, individuals who live in populated areas, shelters, etc. and college students are more at risk in developing walking pneumonia. Also, intimate or increased contact with infected individuals increases the risk.
- Existing conditions like cold or flu may increase the vulnerability of adults to develop walking pneumonia. Such illnesses are common during climate or weather changes.
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