what is walking pneumonia ?
walking pneumonia is a disease caused by bacterial infection. Its mainly affects the upper & lower respiratory track. It is not severe as other types of pneumonia that’s why its also called atypical pneumonia. Walking pneumonia does not cause such symptoms that’s require bed rest. It might just feel like common cold. Most of the people are bale to carry on this disease with their daily lives.
The walking pneumonia is known as atypical because the cells causing the infection are resistant to penicillin. Penicillin is a drug that is used to treat pneumonia. In united states approx. 2 million people get walking pneumonia due to the Mycoplasma pneumonia every year. This disease can last anywhere from one week to one month.
Symptoms Of Walking Pneumonia
Symptoms of pneumonia are typically mild & look like common cold. Symptoms of walking pneumonia gradually increases with time. Main symptoms are:
- Inflammation in wind pipe.
- Sore throat
- Persistent Dry Cough
- lingering weakness that may persist after other symptoms go away
- fever & chills (just like mild flu).
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Rapid breathing
Walking pneumonia symptoms in children
The symptoms in children are same as symptoms in adults. But children should take bed rest & stay at home until symptoms improves. He may feel like that he can go to school but he should take rest until improvement.
Types of walking pneumonia
There are 3 types of bacteria that causes the walking pneumonia.
- Mycoplasma Pneumonia
- Chlamydial Pneumonia
- Legionella Pneumonia
It has been found that in united states the 10 cases out of 50 are caused due the mycoplasma pneumonia. Usually mycoplasma pneumonia is milder than the other 2 pneumonia. It is most common in school going children.
Children who are in school are more likely to be infected with Chlamydia pneumoniae bacterium. It’s estimated that 300,000 people in the United States get infected each year with this bacterium.
This is one of the most serious types of walking pneumonia, as it can lead to both respiratory failure and death. It doesn’t spread through person-to-person contact, but through droplets from contaminated water systems. It mostly affects older adults, those with chronic illnesses, and weakened immune systems. About 5,000 cases are found each year in the United States.
Who has more risk of getting walking pneumonia
- Children (2 years old or younger)
- People of 65 years or more
- Already ill or less immunity
- a long-term user of immunosuppressant drugs
- living with a respiratory condition such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- someone who uses inhaled corticosteroids for long periods of time
- someone who smokes tobacco
How to diagnose the walking pneumonia or atypical pneumonia
It is possible that , you will not go to your doctor for these symptoms. But in a case you will go , doctor can confirm the diagnosis of walking pneumonia if you have chest x-ray. Doctor can also do
- a physical examiniation
- ask about overall health
- ask about your symptoms
Some laboratory tests use to diagnose pneumonia include:
-a culture of mucus from your lungs, which is called sputum
-a sputum gram stain study
-a throat swab
-a complete blood count (CBC)
-tests for specific antigens or antibodies
How to Treat walking pneumonia
Pneumonia is often treated at home. Here are steps you can take to manage your recovery:
Walking pneumonia is contagious when infected. A person can typically only infect others during the 10-day period of when his or her symptoms are most severe.
Antibiotics are generally prescribed based on the type of bacterium that’s causing your pneumonia. You can generally recover from atypical pneumonia on your own. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotic therapy only if you have bacterial pneumonia. Be sure to take all the medication for the full length, even if you feel better before you’ve taken it all.
Some patients with atypical pneumonia require hospitalization for antibiotic therapy and support. You may also need to stay at the hospital if you belong in one of the high-risk groups. During your stay at the hospital, you may receive antibiotic therapy, intravenous fluid, and respiratory therapy, if you have trouble breathing.
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.
Walking Pneumonia Recovery Time
This condition is rarely serious and may go away on its own in a few weeks. You can encourage recovery by getting enough rest and fluids at home. If you do end up visiting the doctor, you may receive an antibiotic, which will shorten the time it takes to recover. Be sure to take your antibiotic for the full prescribed period.
article sources – https://www.medicinenet.com