Walking pneumonia

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Walking pneumonia is pneumonia, an infection of the small air-filled sacs of the lung, that does not cause significant disability. People who are affected by walking pneumonia do not require hospitalization and are often able to continue participating in school or work functions. Although these mild cases of pneumonia can be caused by any number of microorganisms, infection with viruses such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus or atypical bacteria such a Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, or Legionella pneumophila are the most common causes.

Treatment, when necessary, is typically with oral antibiotics such as a macrolide like azithromycin or clarithromycin, or a fluoroquinolone, e.g., levofloxacin. Prognosis is excellent with symptoms typically resolving after a week or less.

Symptoms of walking pneumonia include (but may not be limited to): deep bronchial coughing, sharp headache pains in conjunction with coughing, and shortness of breath. A potentially serious result is a reduction in oxygen blood levels that can occasionally result in dizziness or loss of consciousness. Persons with this disease need to avoid driving unless approved by a physician.

See also


  • About.com - Pneumonia - Signs, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention
  • Mayo Clinic - Walking pneumonia: What does it mean?
  • drgreen.com - What Is Walking Pneumonia?
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