Walking pneumonia, or atypical pneumonia, is a common kind of pneumonia that’s not as dangerous when compared to standard pneumonia. You can have walking pneumonia without knowing it. You may even confuse this illness with the flu!
Walking Pneumonia – A Lighter Case Of Pneumonia
Anyone afflicted with a case of full-blown pneumonia needs to see a physician promptly. However, someone afflicted with walking pneumonia might not even know that he or she has the illness. They may be able to function at a somewhat normal level and many just walk around with it, and that’s why it’s called what it is.
Walking pneumonia is sometimes hard to diagnose, since so many people who are afflicted with it just think they have the flu, which is what they try to treat but don’t get very far with. Walking pneumonia might even feel like a severe cold.
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Who Can Get Walking Pneumonia?
Kids 14 and under run a higher risk of getting this illness, although anyone can get it. It’s contagious in nature, so like other bacterial or viral diseases, it spreads easily in any place with crowds. Robust breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses include places like schools, public transportation, and shopping malls.
Anyone afflicted with walking pneumonia can possibly spread their germs through their sneezing or coughing or even through close contact, such as kissing. Given the mild symptoms, many individuals with this disease don’t even know it, so they continue walking around public spaces, infecting others. This affliction primarily impacts teens, adults, and kids six years old and up.
What Are The Symptoms?
The first symptom is usually a mild sore throat which worsens over several days. A dry cough typically follows. As implied by the name, walking pneumonia doesn’t make its victims bed-ridden, as the effects aren’t serious enough to prevent someone from going about their normal daily routine. However, this isn’t a good idea if they spend time in places with lots of other people. Another symptom of having walking pneumonia is suffering general fatigue around the clock.
Multiple kinds of bacteria are frequent causes for walking pneumonia. They include but are not limited to Adenovirus, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Coxiella burnetii, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
The other symptoms of walking pneumonia are quite similar to the ones of standard or full-blown pneumonia. They include a sore throat, fatigue, headache, chest pain, fever, and cough. This group of symptoms usually affects the person’s body at a gradual rate, taking around three weeks to hit their maximum impact. They’re not usually severe, making patients think they’re just mild flu symptoms. As such, patients can typically go about their daily routine, albeit with a lot of discomfort.
How Is Walking Pneumonia Diagnosed?
The only way walking pneumonia can be diagnosed is with a chest X-ray. This is the test physicians use to examine inflamed lungs so they can see if the alveoli are filled with fluid. When physicians examine how the fluid is distributed, they can figure out what kind of pneumonia a patient has. Blood testing is then done to identify the specific causes of the disease.
What Are The Available Treatment Options?
The treatment typically depends on what caused the disease. It bacterial infection was behind it, then the patient might have to undergo a 3- to 10-day regimen of antibiotics. Azithromycin and doxycycline are common prescriptions. However, if the infection was viral, then antibiotic treatment won’t prove effective. Such patients are typically told to have plenty of fluids and get more rest.
If you are experiencing symptoms of walking pneumonia and you can safely come to ER Specialists, we would love to help you. If you are alone or have any doubt about getting to our facility safely, or, believe you are experiencing a medical emergency please call 911.