Walking Pneumonia Symptoms and Signs

Walking Pneumonia Symptoms

A mycoplasma infection or walking pneumonia is instigated by the attacks of organisms of microscopic size. Similar to bacteria, these invaders are mycoplasma organisms that spread from coughing and sneezing from someone infected with the organisms. Young adults and children are the people, who get walking pneumonia symptoms most often, but anyone can become infected and the symptoms can be deceiving.

Walking Pneumonia Symptoms

The mycoplasma organisms may be at work in a person for ten days or more before the infection sets in and the person becomes ill. The typical walking pneumonia symptoms are those of the common cold and bronchitis. The person experiences upper respiratory irritation, headaches, a fever and chills. They cough and may get an inner ear infection. The throat may be quite sore. Then, while the person may feel tired, they will not appear ill. They are capable of carrying on the daily routine.

Now, the person may not experience all of the symptoms, but any or all of them can be signs of mycoplasma infection. Pain in the chest and sweating more than usual can be signs of the infection. The person may have body and muscle aches, and the eyes may feel pressure and pain. The neck may have swollen glands, and infrequently the skin will break out in a rash.

On the rare occasion, the symptoms can be more severe and debilitating, and recovery from the illness may take more than a month for recovery. Those with chronic bronchitis and other chronic conditions that weaken the respiratory system and the immune system are prone to symptoms that are more greatly pronounced and last longer.

Diagnosis

The doctor may take x-rays and see the effects of the mycoplasma infection on the lungs. Blood tests are also used in diagnosis. While a physical exam is necessary, they may not distinguish the walking pneumonia from other respiratory conditions like bronchial infections.

The blood tests can include those of blood cultures and searches for antibodies to the mycoplasma infection. A complete blood count could be ordered to find the amount of red and white blood cells as well as hemoglobin counts.

Other testing may be ordered like sputum cultures and a CT scan that pictures the entire area of the lungs and chest. Two invasive tests that are used less frequently are a lung biopsy and Bronchoscopy that sends a small camera into the bronchial tubes. Both of these tests check for signs of mycoplasma infection when other tests fail, and the person is given anesthesia.

Treatments

Hospitalization only rarely occurs, but the illness can turn for the worse if it is not monitored by a medical doctor and specialist, leading to pneumonia. The illness does not respond to penicillin. Pain and anti-inflammatory medication is indicated as is drinking plenty of water. Rest is especially recommended for relief of symptoms and healing for the body as it fights the mycoplasma infection. People can recover from walking pneumonia more quickly with the proper care.

References

http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/mycoplasma/fact_sheet.htm

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000082.htm

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