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Walking Pneumonia Symptoms

Pediatrics and Child Health

Also referred to as atypical pneumonia, walking pneumonia is a medical condition wherein the patient diagnosed with it does not have to be hospitalized or bedridden. Unlike the normal or the more common pneumonia, a patient with walking pneumonia is still mobile or free to move around despite being diagnosed with the disease.

Walking Pneumonia Symptoms

Walking pneumonia is a result of an infection of the organism called mycoplasma pneumonia, which is composed of certain bacteria, viruses, and other chemical substances.

At the beginning, walking pneumonia will cause symptoms similar to colds and other respiratory infections. Some children will have headaches, congested noses, and report feeling tired. Some will also experience sore throat and even mild fevers. A major difference between walking pneumonia and the common cold is that colds will typically improve or be gone in two weeks or less but the symptoms of walking pneumonia will worsen after two weeks and your child may develop a dry cough or a strong wet cough. Sleeping comfortably will also be a challenge since your child's cough can worsen during the night.

Children may also experience a different set of symptoms than adults with walking pneumonia. Some children may exhibit skin rashes, or may encounter nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Children may also experience difficulty in breathing or have chills and swollen glands. Regardless of the seemingly mild nature of the disease, respiratory problems should always be addressed immediately.

Specific walking pneumonia symptoms to watch out for in your child include:

  • A decline in energy or a lethargic feeling
  • Severe colds
  • Chills
  • Mild to severe headaches which can be accompanied by fevers and throat irritation
  • A runny nose
  • Abdominal pain and pain in the eyes, ears, chest, and muscles
  • A sore throat
  • Shallow and rapid breathing

When left untreated, the symptoms of walking pneumonia will persist and may create dry cough. There are some patients who are able to recover from the infection without any treatment but in other cases, conditions can actually worsen. Once the signs and symptoms of walking pneumonia are exhibited, you should immediately see a doctor. Most walking pneumonia cases can easily be treated with certain types of antibiotics. Such medications can speed up the recovery. Your pediatricians advice must be strictly followed especially with regards to taking medications. Cough medicine may also be prescribed to treat some of the symptoms.

Walking pneumonia is actually a contagious disease. It can spread from a patient to a healthy person as a result of constant contact. The main medium through which the disease can spread from one individual to another is through airborne droplets. Airborne droplets are the fluid coming out from the mouth and nose, which are also known as respiratory secretions. These droplets can transfer to another person through sneezing, laughing, coughing, or talking.

If your child exhibits walking pneumonia symptoms or you suspect that his cold may be something more serious, take your child to the pediatrician immediately for care and treatment. It is always better to be safe than sorry when getting medical care for any illness your child has.

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