What Are The Symptoms Of Walking Pneumonia
Symptoms from walking pneumonia are usually pretty mild. In fact, most people have so few symptoms that they dont ever see a healthcare provider. This may mean that theyre never diagnosed with walking pneumonia at all.
Typically, people with walking pneumonia start off having symptoms very similar to a common cold or viral upper respiratory tract infection. These symptoms include:
Walking Pneumonia Vs Pneumonia
Walking pneumonia is a nonmedical term that people use to describe cases of milder pneumonia. Doctors call this atypical pneumonia. However, both atypical and typical pneumonia can cause severe symptoms and require hospitalization.
This article will discuss the key differences between these two types of pneumonia, including causes and treatments. If a person experiences problems breathing, they should always seek medical attention before their condition worsens.
Pneumonia is a lung infection that affects the small air sacs in the lungs. The lungs begin to fill with fluid or pus, which reduces their ability to open and close and, therefore, exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Atypical pneumonia and pneumonia are both lung infections atypical pneumonia tends to be less serious than typical pneumonia. However, according to a 2018 study, 130% of patients in the intensive care unit with documented pneumonia have severe atypical pneumonia.
Walking pneumonia occurs when the bacteria that cause it are atypical. According to the
- Mycoplasma pneumonia
How Is Walking Pneumonia Treated In A Child
Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Treatment also depends on the cause of the illness. Your child will have to take antibiotics if the infection is from the bacteria M. pneumoniae. If the illness is from a virus, then antibiotics wont work. The illness will have to run its course.
To help your child recover more quickly, make sure he or she:
Relaxes. Plenty of rest gives your child a boost in fighting the infection. Your childs healthcare provider may recommend your child stay home from school until symptoms get better.
Drinks plenty of fluids. Water, soups, and warm tea can help prevent dehydration.
Takes prescribed medicines. Your childs healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter medicines to ease symptoms such as fever or pain. A humidifier can help with breathing problems.
Also Check: Does A Nebulizer Help With Pneumonia
How Is Walking Pneumonia Different From Regular Pneumonia
Walking pneumonia differs from typical pneumonia in several ways, including:
- Walking pneumonia is a milder form of pneumonia.
- Walking pneumonia usually does not require bed rest or hospitalization.
- Walking pneumonia is usually caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Typical pneumonia is most commonly caused by _Streptococcus _pneumonia or influenza virus or rhinovirus.
When Should I See My Doctor
Pneumonia can be life-threatening if left untreated, especially for certain at-risk people. You should call your doctor if you have a cough that wont go away, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a fever. You should also call your doctor if you suddenly begin to feel worse after having a cold or the flu.
You May Like: Can Pneumonia Make You Tired
What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia
Cough is a common symptom. You may also feel generally unwell and have a high temperature . Other symptoms you may notice include:
- Loss of appetite
All these symptoms are also seen in flu so it is sometimes difficult to diagnose pneumonia in the early stages. See the separate leaflet called Influenza and Flu-like Illness for further details.
Coughing up a lot of phlegm is more likely to happen in pneumonia than in flu. The phlegm may become yellow-coloured or green-coloured. It may be streaked with blood or you may cough up more significant amounts of blood.
You may become short of breath, start breathing faster than normal and develop a tight chest. A sharp pain in the side of the chest may develop if the infection involves the pleura. The pleura is the membrane between the lung and the chest wall. A doctor may hear crackles when listening to your chest with a stethoscope.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Pneumonia
Pneumonia is a serious illness that can take quite a toll on a persons lungs and body. It can take anywhere from a week to several months to fully recover from it, says Dr. Rayman Lee, pulmonologist at Houston Methodist.
The length of time it takes for you to recover from pneumonia is influenced by:
- Your age
- The severity of your illness
- Whether you have other health conditions
- The type of pneumonia
If youre generally healthy and have only a mild case of pneumonia, your symptoms should begin to improve one to two days after starting treatment.
Most people with mild pneumonia are able to return to their everyday activities in a week, although fatigue and cough can linger for an entire month, says Dr. Lee.
Recovery timelines become more murky for people who have severe pneumonia.
For more serious cases that require hospitalization, were not only focused on clearing the infection, were also focused on preventing or treating complications that can develop including difficulty breathing, fluid buildup in the lungs, sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome and lung abscesses, warns Dr. Lee.
Pneumonia and its complications can wreak havoc on a persons lungs and body. And, it can take anywhere from one to six months for a person to recover and regain strength after being hospitalized for pneumonia.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Most Common Antibiotic For Pneumonia
You May Like: Can You Pass Pneumonia To Another Person
What Increases Your Risk Factors For Walking Pneumonia
Like pneumonia, the risk for developing walking pneumonia is higher if you are:
- over age of 65 years old
- 2 years old or younger
Since walking pneumonia tends to be mild, some people with the illness choose not to get a formal diagnosis. But other serious diseases can cause symptoms that look like walking pneumonia. If symptoms continue to worsen after a few days, consider checking in with a healthcare professional for a diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment for walking pneumonia depends on whats causing the disease. Walking pneumonia from bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. A healthcare professional may use antiviral medications to treat cases caused by viruses.
For very mild cases of walking pneumonia, treatment may simply involve managing symptoms at home and resting.
Recommended Reading: Is There A Reaction To The Pneumonia Shot
Causes Of Walking Pneumonia
Walking pneumonia can be caused by viruses or bacteria. According to the American Lung Association, most cases are caused by M. pneumoniae, a common type of bacteria that usually affects children and adults under the age of 40. M. pneumoniae infections tend to peak in summer and early fall but can happen throughout the year.
Chlamydophila pneumoniae can also cause walking pneumonia. Infections from this type of bacteria are common in all four seasons. It often spreads in crowded environments, like college dorms and long-term care facilities.
Adults and children can also contract walking pneumonia from viruses. Respiratory syncytial virus is a frequent cause of walking pneumonia in young kids, while adults tend to get the viral form of the disease from the influenza virus.
Also Check: Which Form Of Pneumonia Can Be Prevented Through Vaccination
You May Like: What Is The Cost Of The Pneumonia Vaccine
What Is The Recovery Period For Walking Pneumonia
It takes a period of three weeks for walking pneumonia to completely resolve but if there is severe coughing problem, it may take longer. Your age and health status also influences your recovery period from walking pneumonia.
For severe cases of walking pneumonia, it is necessary to ensure timely treatment and elimination of symptoms. This not only helps in faster recovery, but also reduces the time span during which the walking pneumonia infection is contagious. It is important to take necessary care and prevention from walking pneumonia infections during the recovery period, to prevent other infections or worsening of walking pneumonia, which is already being treated. With proper care, timely treatment the recovery period of walking pneumonia may be around three weeks under normal circumstances.
How Is Pneumonia Treated
When you get a pneumonia diagnosis, your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan. Treatment for pneumonia depends on the type of pneumonia you have, how sick you are feeling, your age, and whether you have other health conditions. The goals of treatment are to cure the infection and prevent complications. It is important to follow your treatment plan carefully until you are fully recovered.
Take any medications as prescribed by your doctor. If your pneumonia is caused by bacteria, you will be given an antibiotic. It is important to take all the antibiotic until it is gone, even though you will probably start to feel better in a couple of days. If you stop, you risk having the infection come back, and you increase the chances that the germs will be resistant to treatment in the future.
Typical antibiotics do not work against viruses. If you have viral pneumonia, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication to treat it. Sometimes, though, symptom management and rest are all that is needed.
Most people can manage their symptoms such as fever and cough at home by following these steps:
If your pneumonia is so severe that you are treated in the hospital, you may be given intravenous fluids and antibiotics, as well as oxygen therapy, and possibly other breathing treatments.
You May Like: How Many Years Between Pneumonia Shots
Also Check: What Antibiotics Are Used To Treat Pneumonia
What Causes Walking Pneumonia
Mycoplasma pneumoniae, a tiny bacterium that can live in your nose, throat, windpipe, and lungs, is the culprit here. It causes an inflammation or infection in the lungs, but this is much milder than in typical pneumonia.
Certain antibiotics and penicillin that treat regular pneumonia by targeting cell walls of the Streptococcus bacteria are not useful in walking pneumonia. Usually, rest and hydration can cure it.
Pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma come under the bracket of atypical pneumonia which simply means traditional bacteria species like Streptococcus pneumoniae that trigger typical pneumonia are not the cause here.1Unlike traditional pneumonia bacteria, these organisms dont have outer cell walls and are resilient to penicillin and certain antibiotics that target cell walls.2
The symptoms of walking pneumonia are milder than those in normal pneumonia. In most cases, this type of pneumonia sorts itself out on its own with enough rest and fluids.3
Can Walking Pneumonia Be Prevented
There is no vaccine for mycoplasma infections, so there is no way to prevent it. There are things you can do, though, to reduce your chances of getting it:
- Exercise, eat a well-balanced diet, and get adequate sleep. Exercise, rest, and proper nutrition help keep your body healthy. A healthy body is better able to resist infection.
- Wash your hands frequently. Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent germs from spreading.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking damages the lungs, and damaged lungs are more susceptible to infection.
- Cover your mouth with your sleeve when you cough or sneeze. And, urge others to do the same. Coughing and sneezing are the primary ways infectious agents are spread.
WebMD Medical Reference
Recommended Reading: When Do You Get The Pneumonia Vaccine
How Effective Is Ciprofloxacin For Pneumonia
The effectiveness of taking ciprofloxacin for pneumonia largely depends on the particular bacterial strain causing the ailment. Ciprofloxacin, commonly called CiproÂ®, belongs to the fluoroquinolone group of antibiotics, which are frequently used to treat respiratory infections because of the wide range of bacterial organisms they destroy. Quinolones are not effective against fungal or viral infections, however. Ciprofloxacin can produce a number of side effects and has been associated with an increased risk of tendinitis or tendon rupture.
According to research, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae cause the majority of pneumonia cases. Studies indicate that ciprofloxacin is only effective against these bacterial strains if they are not penicillin or methicillin resistant. It is effective, however, against many other bacteria causing pneumonias, including Haemophilius influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Besides prescribing ciprofloxacin for pneumonia, physicians use ciprofloxacin for sinusitis, skin and structural infections, bone and joint infections, and urinary tract infections. This medication is also used to treats anthrax and typhoid infections.
How To Diagnose Pneumonia In The Elderly
There are tests that can be done to tell if an elderly person has pneumonia. The doctor can simply listen to the individuals lungs for rattling sounds and rales that are typical of pneumonia and lung inflammation. A chest x-ray or CT scan will show areas of pneumonia, called consolidation. A pulse oximetry test checks for the level of oxygen in the system, which tends to be lower if the person has pneumonia. In some cases, the mucus or blood can be cultured to identify the specific organism that is causing the pneumonia.
Read Also: How Many People Get Pneumonia
Crowded Indoor Conditions Increase Your Risk
Generally speaking, young children and teens are at greatest risk for walking pneumonia but anyone could be affected, particularly if they live or work in crowded settings, such as schools, college dorms, military barracks and nursing homes.
Walking pneumonia is spread by droplet particles usually within a few feet of an individual when they cough.
Those recovering from a recent respiratory illness, or those who have a weakened immune system, may also have an increased risk for walking pneumonia. Specifically, any patient that has an underlying lung disease, like asthma, emphysema or COPD and the elderly are at a higher risk for any type of infection, especially pneumonia.
These higher-risk patients are also more likely to have a more severe case of walking pneumonia, which can lead to complications, such as serious pneumonia, asthma attacks, swelling of the brain, kidney problems and certain skin conditions.
It Might Feel Like A Cold
Walking pneumonia is how some people describe a mild case of pneumonia. Your doctor might call it Ã¢atypical pneumoniaÃ¢ because itÃ¢s not like more serious cases.
A lung infection is often to blame. Lots of things can cause it, including:
- Inhaled food
Walking pneumonia usually is due to bacteria called Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
You probably wonÃ¢t have to stay in bed or in the hospital. You might even feel good enough go to work and keep up your routine, just as you might with a cold.
You May Like: Is Pneumonia Contagious Mayo Clinic
Recommended Reading: How Often Do You Have To Take A Pneumonia Shot
What Are The Treatments For Pneumonia
Treatment for pneumonia depends on the type of pneumonia, which germ is causing it, and how severe it is:
- Antibiotics treat bacterial pneumonia and some types of fungal pneumonia. They do not work for viral pneumonia.
- In some cases, your provider may prescribe antiviral medicines for viral pneumonia
- Antifungal medicines treat other types of fungal pneumonia
You may need to be treated in a hospital if your symptoms are severe or if you are at risk for complications. While there, you may get additional treatments. For example, if your blood oxygen level is low, you may receive oxygen therapy.
It may take time to recover from pneumonia. Some people feel better within a week. For other people, it can take a month or more.
Treatments To Fight Pneumonia
Different treatments are administered to patients based on the type of pneumonia, the severity of the illness, the age of the patient and other existing medical conditions. Those with a viral form of pneumonia are treated with antiviral medications and helped with shortening the length of illness and symptom management. Bacterial-based pneumonias are treated with a broad spectrum antibiotic followed by a targeted antibiotic when tests pinpoint the type of bacteria causing the infection. The American Lung Association indicates that many people with milder cases can successfully manage their symptoms at home.
Also Check: Does It Hurt To Breathe With Pneumonia
What Are The Best Antibiotics For Pneumonia
When a person contracts pneumonia, the air sacs in one or both lungs, called alveoli, fill with pus or fluid.
This fluid can make it difficult to breathe. While pneumonia can be mild, it can also cause severe illness, especially in young children, older adults, and those with other medical problems.
In 2019, more than 40,000 Americans died of pneumonia.
Pneumonia happnes when a virus or bacteria thats living in your bodyin your nose, sinuses, or mouth, for examplespreads into your lungs.
You may also directly breathe the virus or bacteria into your lungs, triggering pneumonia.
Pneumonia is typically caused by viruses or bacteria.
Antibiotics wont help with viral pneumonia.
Bacterial pneumonia is more common, and usually more severe, and can sometimes occur secondary to a viral infection.
If your doctor suspects that you have bacterial pneumonia, they will treat you with antibiotics.
In this article, Ill explain how pneumonia is diagnosed, and when and how its treated with antibiotics.
Ill also talk about when pneumonia requires hospitalization.
Ill also tell you when you should talk to your doctor to see if a persistent cough, shortness of breath, or other upper respiratory symptoms could be pneumonia.
Is Walking Pneumonia Contagious If So How Is It Spread And Who Is Most At Risk
Yes, walking pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae is contagious . When an infected person coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets containing the bacteria become airborne and can be inhaled by others who are nearby.
The infection can be easily spread in crowded or shared living spaces such as homes, schools, dormitories and nursing homes. It tends to affect younger adults and school-aged children more than older adults.
The risk of getting more severe pneumonia is even higher among those who have existing respiratory conditions such as:
The symptoms of walking pneumonia may come on slowly, beginning one to four weeks after exposure. During the later stages of the illness, symptoms may worsen, the fever may become higher, and coughing may bring up discolored phlegm .
Also Check: Is There A Fever With Pneumonia