Pneumonia is a common disease of the lungs. Around 3 million people in the United States alone are diagnosed with pneumonia each year and most of them require hospitalization and medical treatment. Pneumonia can be developed by anyone, although it is mostly common in small children, teenagers and elderly people. People with special conditions are also very exposed to developing pneumonia: people with weak immune system, people with internal disorders (cirrhosis, kidney problems), people with chronic pulmonary obstructive diseases (bronchitis), people who receive cancer treatments or people who have suffered surgical interventions.
Pneumonia is not always an infectious disease. Sometimes the inflammation of the lungs is caused by inhalation of foreign matters: fluids, irritants, chemicals. However, pneumonia usually involves infection with bacteria, viruses or mycoplasmas. Typical pneumonia is caused by infection with common bacteria and viruses. Atypical pneumonia is caused by infection with mycoplasmas. Mycoplasmas are very small organisms that resemble both viruses and bacterias. These infectious agents are responsible for causing walking pneumonia, which is usually a milder form of pulmonary disease.
Walking pneumonia is common in children and teenagers and it is a very contagious disease. Walking pneumonia can be easily contracted through cough, sneezing or direct physical contact with a contaminated person. As the name suggests it, walking pneumonia doesn’t always involve hospitalization or bed confinement. People with this form of disease usually receive medical treatment outside the hospital and they are allowed to sustain their normal daily activities. People with walking pneumonia need medical treatment with antibiotics in order to prevent them from spreading the disease to other people.
Walking pneumonia is caused by infection with Mycoplasma, Chlamydia and rarely, Legionella. When the disease is caused by infection with these microorganisms, pneumonia develops slowly and its symptoms can be observed in later stages of the disease. General walking pneumonia symptoms are: persistent cough, mild to moderate fever, chills, throat inflammation, difficult breathing and fatigue. Walking pneumonia symptoms sometimes resemble the symptoms generated by flu or cold.
When the disease is caused by infection with Mycoplasma pnumoniae, walking pneumonia symptoms are: mucus-producing cough, fever, chest pain when breathing, throat inflammation, headache, difficult breathing, abdominal pain, nausea and fatigue. Sometimes walking pneumonia symptoms can include skin rash, body weakness and anemia. Mycoplasma pneumonia is common is infants and small children.
When the disease is caused by infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae, walking pneumonia symptoms are: fever, dry cough, throat inflammation, swelling of the lymph nodes, headache, muscle pain, fatigue. When the pulmonary infection is caused by Chlamydia, walking pneumonia symptoms are usually not very intense and with the help of medical treatment, the disease is overcome within 10-14 days.
When the disease is caused by infection with Legionella, walking pneumonia symptoms are: severe cough, chest pain and soreness when breathing, shortness of breath, accelerated breath, wheezing, high fever, cyanosis and even unconsciousness. Walking pneumonia symptoms are in this case very intense and the disease develops at a faster rate. Walking pneumonia due to infection with Legionella has a high mortality rate and therefore it is vital to be discovered and treated quickly.
It is very important to pay attention to walking pneumonia symptoms in order to timely discover the presence of the disease. Ask for medical assistance as soon as you experience the first walking pneumonia symptoms, as the disease can become severe in the absence of appropriate medical treatment.