Walking pneumonias, also referred to as mycoplasma pneumonia or atypical pneumonia, results due to an infection by a pathogen known as Mycoplasma pneumoniae. This form of pneumonia is mild and not as severe as other types of pneumonia. The symptoms develop and surface slowly over a period of one to three weeks. Often the symptoms in this disorder can be mistaken for those related to flu or severe cold.
As per MedlinePlus, most people affected by this infection are children or those below 40 years. It is often spread amongst people who are in close proximity. Some of the symptoms include persistent cough, sore throat, and fever or chest pain.
Common fallout of mycoplsama pneumonia is infection of middle ear. Such infections are more common during early childhood and usually affect children in the age group of 6 to 24 months. The chances of children getting affected are more than adults.
While the infection is mild, walking pneumonia has the potential to cause several complications. Some of those complications are highlighted below.
In a middle ear infection, the lining in this section gets inflamed and fluid begins to accumulate behind the eardrum. Some symptoms of this condition are high fever, imbalance, irritability, dizziness, insomnia, and ear pain, drainage in ear, vomiting, appetite loss, temporary loss of hearing, and/or diarrhea. The treatment includes administration of over-the-counter drugs, antibiotics, and warm compress and drainage tubes. If left untreated, the infection can cause rupture of the ear-drum or cause loss of hearing.
People suffering from walking pneumonia are more susceptible to getting hemolytic anemia. In this condition, the bone marrow does not produce sufficient red blood cells to replace the prematurely damaged ones in the blood. Hemolytic anemia can result due to protein abnormality, variation in the protein level in blood, clots in blood, and side effects of medicines, infection or abnormal response of the immune system. Some related symptoms include dark coloration of urine, fatigue, and enlargement of spleen, chills, acceleration of heart rate, fever, and pale coloration of skin, jaundice or difficulty in breathing. The treatment includes ingestion of iron, folic acid, transfusion of blood or administration of corticosteroids.
Another fallout of this condition is rash of the skin. People, who are more allergic and sensitive to antibiotics, are at a greater risk of getting allergic reactions when treated with antibiotics. In this condition, rashes develop which can be red, flat spots; or raised small bumps Amoxicillin or penicillin administration can also trigger this condition. Discontinuation of antibiotics can reduce rashes.
Walking pneumonia can also cause severe pneumonia due to weak immunity or poor response to any treatment.