Walking Pneumonia

Many people may be aware of traditional pneumonia, which is a serious infection of the lungs. If someone gets regular pneumonia, they will need hospitalization in order to get healthy again. And yet, there is a type of pneumonia that is as harmless as a flu. It is called walking pneumonia.

What is walking pneumonia? Walking pneumonia is a relatively minor lung infection that is caused by the Mycoplasma pneumoniae organism. And although the bacteria is causing an infection in the lungs, the disease itself is so minute that it is possible the body can cure it without additional treatment.

This is why walking pneumonia developed its interesting name, since it is possible to do things normally despite what is going on inside your body. Of course, treating walking pneumonia nonchalantly is definitely not recommended, since the disease still produces uncomfortable symptoms and can be contagious.

So, what are the symptoms of walking pneumonia? Many of the major signs of walking pneumonia will mimic what a person experiences when they have a bad cold or a flu. These can include:

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • a sore throat
  • fever
  • chills
  • chest pain

There are also more troublesome, (yet manageable), signs of walking pneumonia that may include:

  • rashes
  • a lump in the neck
  • ear pain
  • increased respiratory rate

So, while walking pneumonia won’t require hospitalization, you still want to at least get bed rest as your body is going through these symptoms. You would do that even for the flu, a disease that doesn’t have the infamy of pneumonia.

If you do go to the doctor for walking pneumonia, you’ll probably be given antibiotics to speed up the treatment process. Antibiotics that are commonly prescribed for walking pneumonia include:

  • tetracylclines
  • clarithromycin
  • erythromycin

The advantage of taking them over trying to get rid of the disease yourself is that you will get better in a week or less. Besides, it doesn’t hurt to be monitored by a doctor anyway, as any disease has the potential to get out of control.

As far as alleviating your symptoms, try to avoid taking too many over-the-counter medications, at least not without your doctor’s recommendation. They may not be of much use anyway, since many of them are designed to alleviate problems associated with colds or flus. Your best bet is taking it easy and using common sense.

If you have a fever, place a damp rag on your forehead and other areas of the body that might feel hot. You can also take a bath. To help relieve your cough, prop up your head on a pillow, making your body rest at an incline. This will help some of the fluid that is building up in your lungs drain out, making you feel better.

In conclusion, don’t be alarmed if you’re told you have walking pneumonia. In fact, be glad that you don’t have the regular form of the disease, because chances are you would have to be in the hospital to recover from it. Yet, don’t take the disease for granted either. You might not have regular pneumonia, but your body is still in a state of suffering, even if it’s not as serious.