Walking pneumonia is an interesting name for a disease. The symptoms of this disease onset gradually over a period of 2 to 4 weeks; after a patient get infected.
Patient infected with walking pneumonia may carry on normal life activities irrespective of the infection in the lungs. That’s why it is called as walking pneumonia.
It is caused by atypical bacteria, Mycoplasma pneumonia and in most of the cases; the body cures the disease on its own without any additional treatment.
Although walking pneumonia is not a severe form of Pneumonia, however it is recommended to treat the disease by proper medications.
Causes of walking pneumonia
Anyone can get walking pneumonia on exposure to infection; however young adults and older children are more at risk.
The infection is more prevalent during early months of fall and the late summer months. The transmission of the infection takes place in the same manner as that of influenza or flu.
The following persons are at high risk of getting walking pneumonia.
• Individuals who come into contact with patients infected with walking pneumonia
• Individuals who get the infection from the places infected by walking pneumonia person while sneezing or coughing
• Individuals who spend more time in crowded places such as offices, schools or other large organizations
Symptoms of Walking Pneumonia
The symptoms of walking pneumonia take two to three weeks to appear after a person gets infected. The severity of walking pneumonia is less than that of traditional pneumonia. That’s why walking pneumonia in considered as a milder form of pneumonia.
As the symptoms are mild and takes time to appear, infected patients can complete their normal daily tasks while carrying the infection inside.
Common Symptoms of walking pneumonia
• Low fever
• Less chances of shaking chills
• Body aches/ chest pain
• Excessive sweating
• Joint pain
• Sore throat
• Dry Cough or cough with little sputum
• Abdominal pain in some cases
• Feeling weak
The symptoms of walking pneumonia resembles to the symptoms caused by cold or Flu. However, flu can be cured within a week; walking pneumonia may last several weeks if untreated.
Treatment of Walking Pneumonia
As walking pneumonia is mild form of pneumonia so patients need not get hospitalised. The treatment therapy of Walking Pneumonia differs from other bacterial pneumonia as it does not respond the antibiotics used for treating infections with other bacteria.
It is because it lacks a peptidoglycan cell wall that makes it resistant against penicillins and other beta-lactam antibiotics.
The antibiotics used for treating infections caused by Mycoplasma Pneumoniae comprises of macrolides such as erythromycin, azithromycin, clarithromycin; quinolones, and tetracyclines.
Tips for treatment
• Patient is asked to drink plenty of fluids including juices, water, tea, lemonade, etc.
• Oxygen is usually used in hospitalised patient with breathing problems
• Use of humidified air helps in loosening the mucus
• Patient may take aspirin, NSAIDs, for controlling fever. However, Aspirin should not be given to children.
• Patient is advised to take plenty of rest.
• Chest therapy is used for loosening the mucus so that it can be expelled out by deep coughing.