Walking pneumonia, also known as atypical pneumonia, is a type of pneumonia that is much less severe than its traditional counterpart. Unlike traditional forms of pneumonia, which may require hospitalization, walking pneumonia is a milder form of the disease where hospitalization isn't needed, says the Cleveland Clinic. While walking pneumonia can be caused by viruses, bacteria, and mold, the most common cause is the bacteria Mycoplasma pneumonia, per the American Lung Association. The condition is typically spread through respiratory droplets, which can be expelled into the air when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes (via the Cleveland Clinic).
What Are The Symptoms Of Walking Pneumonia?
According to the American Lung Association, the term "walking pneumonia" comes from the fact that people who have it are usually able to continue their normal activities rather than needing to be on bed rest or hospitalized. This is because when compared to traditional pneumonia, symptoms more typically resemble a cold or the flu. Even though the symptoms may be mild, however, it's still important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have walking pneumonia.
So, do all types of pneumonia have the same symptoms? Yes and no. There are symptoms that are common for different types of pneumonia, specific symptoms and severity can vary from person to person (via Johns Hopkins). This is why it's important to not self-diagnose things like a cough or muscle pain. Remember, it's better to have a health care professional tell you it's something else than to learn on your own that you have pneumonia.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the general symptoms of pneumonia can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue. However, different types of pneumonia exist, including walking pneumonia, per the Cleveland Clinic. Various factors characterize the different types of pneumonia, including the cause and severity of the infection, which can range from mild to severe, says the Mayo Clinic.
Some people hesitate when it comes to letting their doctors know about concerning health problems. They may even brush off the idea of going to an emergency room or urgent care facility because they think that there is little concern. But it is always wise to take action if you or someone you love is experiencing a new or very serious health change. Keep reading to learn the red flags you should never ignore.
If you believe going directly to your doctor or relying on the advice of friends or questionable internet sources is the best option, having the truth on your side for once can be incredibly comforting. The following common symptoms may appear alarming but aren't as scary as they seem; here's what to do if you notice them and when to seek medical attention.