Treatment Options to Relieve the Symptoms of Walking Pneumonia

May 7th 2016

Although walking pneumonia is considered a mild infection, without treatment, it can develop into actual pneumonia that can cause damage to the lungs. Take precautionary steps to boost the immune system and prevent the risks of walking pneumonia.

Causes

Walking pneumonia is caused by a bacterial infection that is much milder than other types of pneumonia. The illness is often transferred by people in close quarters, such as a place of employment or school. Symptoms may take up to two or three weeks to appear.

Symptoms

Symptoms develop slowly once an individual contracts walking pneumonia. In most cases, people have mild flu-like symptoms such as chills or a fever, a sore throat, headache and lingering weakness. A violent cough with little to no mucus present is a common symptom, in addition to general fatigue throughout the day. In some cases, walking pneumonia is accompanied by an ear infection, skin rash or anemia.

Risk Factors

People who smoke, suffer from another chronic illness or have a weak immune system are at risk for developing walking pneumonia. Old age also increases the risk. Walking pneumonia is most commonly transferred by air, so spending time near an already infected person can lead to infection.

Treatment

Generally, physicians prescribe an antibiotic to treat walking pneumonia. If the infection is mild, treatment may not be necessary as the body's immune system wards off the bacteria naturally. Some individuals with walking pneumonia opt to take over-the-counter medications for the flu or a cold to relieve the symptoms. Health professionals recommend plenty of fluids to hydrate the body and rest to fuel the immune system to fight off the infection.

Prevention

As of 2015, a vaccine for walking pneumonia does not exist, but people can take precautions to reduce the risk of contracting the bacterial infection. A healthy lifestyle that includes a well-balanced diet, exercise and rest improves the performance and strength of the immune system to ward off infections. Frequent hand washing to prevent germs from spreading is also a key preventative measure. People should cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing since airborne transmission is the primary means via which walking pneumonia spreads. Individuals who smoke should quit as soon as possible because smoke damages the lungs and makes them more susceptible to infection.

Conclusion

Walking pneumonia is a less severe form of pneumonia that may leave patients feeling like they have a cold. Even though pneumonia is a serious ailment, people with walking pneumonia often feel well enough to walk around, work or attend school without the need for hospitalization and bed rest.

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