When people are experiencing a mild form of pneumonia, their condition it is often referred to as ‘walking pneumonia.” This is a non-medical term used to differentiate it from those who are infected with the more serious pneumonia. It commonly occurs in people who are infected by a bacterial microorganism called mycoplasma pneumoniae.
The bacteria responsible for causing walking pneumonia are contagious, but being infected does not always result in sickness. Many people’s immune systems are able to fight off the effects. If a person has a weakened immune system, their body’s defense system may not be able contain the bacteria.
Each year many cases of walking pneumonia are not detected as people don’t seek medical attention. There are at least two million individuals who are affected with walking pneumonia annually.
When a person is examined for walking pneumonia a doctor will utilize a stethoscope to listen to their lungs. Chest X-rays may be taken, and a blood test could be administered. There is a blood test available that is able to identify the bacterial infection of walking pneumonia. This blood test is not often used, unless there is an extensive outbreak that must be examined.
A person will start to experience walking pneumonia symptoms from 15 to 25 days from initial contact with the bacteria. The symptoms will increase between two to four days. A person with walking pneumonia may experience a sore throat, weakness, coughing spasms, headache and more.
Walking pneumonia could be experienced by any individual. It’s most frequently infects adults who are under 40 years old, and older children. Anyone who is exposed to crowded places such as schools, public transportation, and crowded work areas are at risk for contacting walking pneumonia. An infection can occur when someone comes into contact with droplets from the nose or throat of an infected person when they sneeze or cough.
Once a person is diagnosed with walking pneumonia, they will usually be treated using antibiotics. Since a mild case of walking pneumonia will clear up without treatment, medication is not always prescribed. An individual will normally begin to feel better after a few days.
The antibiotics usually prescribed to treat walking pneumonia are clarithromycin, erythromycin or clarithromycin. People who have taken these antibiotics experience a high rate of success in being cured quickly. In addition to the medication health professionals will recommend bed rest. In order to avoid infecting others, it’s best to use a mask during the first few days after being diagnosed
People are usually infected during the late summer months and fall. There are years when walking pneumonia is diagnosed with no identifiable pattern. The period of time that people are contagious is under ten days, as it does not spread quickly. Medical personal believe someone can only become infected with walking pneumonia after repeated exposure to an infected person.
When a person has been previously infected with walking pneumonia, they develop a certain amount of immunity. This immunity does not last a long time, and it’s not known the length of time it does last. This means that even if a person has had walking pneumonia earlier in their life, they are still able to be infected again.
It is a challenge for anyone to not be exposed to walking pneumonia. It has an extended gestation period, and those who are infected usually don’t know they are suffering with walking pneumonia. If a person has been diagnosed they should be avoided until they’ve been taking antibiotics for a few days.
At this point in time, there is no vaccine that can prevent people from catching walking pneumonia.