There is a wide variety of pneumonia forms. Although pneumonia is usually caused by infection with viruses and bacteria, the disease can also be caused by infection with other microorganisms, such as mycoplasmas.
According to the nature of the infection, pneumonia can be typical or atypical. Typical forms of pneumonia are caused by common viruses (influenza, herpes simplex virus, varicella-zoster, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus), common gram-positive bacteria (Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes) and common gram-negative bacteria (Haemophilus influenzae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitides, Pseudomonas aeruginosa).
Atypical types of pneumonia (walking pneumonia) are caused by infection with other microorganisms, such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydia pneumoniae. A rare cause of walking pneumonia is infection with Legionella pneumophila.
When walking pneumonia is caused by infection with Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydia pneumoniae, the disease is not serious and its generated symptoms are mild. However, when walking pneumonia is caused by infection with Legionella pneumophila, the disease can be very severe and it can even cause death.
Atypical types of pneumonia are referred to as walking pneumonia because they generally don’t involve hospitalization. Most forms of walking pneumonia are mild and generate symptoms that resemble those of flu or cold: dry cough, low fever, fatigue, nausea, muscle pain, difficulty breathing.
People with walking pneumonia can carry on with their normal daily activities during the treatment. After they receive an appropriate medical treatment and the disease is under control, patients with walking pneumonia won’t spread the disease to other people and they are allowed to leave the hospital.
If walking pneumonia is caused by infection with Mycoplasma and Chlamydia, the disease develops very slowly and generates less pronounced symptoms. Unlike typical types of pneumonia, walking pneumonia is more difficult to diagnose, as it generates symptoms that point to many other diseases: strep throat, sinusitis or bronchitis.
Mycoplasma pneumonia is common to very small children and teenagers. Such forms of walking pneumonia are also common to people with weak immune system, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, people with internal dysfunctions and people who have suffered recent surgical interventions.
The incidence of walking pneumonia is also very high in smokers of all ages. Smoking is a major factor of risk in developing walking pneumonia, as it facilitates the proliferation of microorganisms. If you are a smoker and you suffer from walking pneumonia, it is advised to quit smoking for good!
Chlamydia pneumonia is common in children and elderly people. This form of walking pneumonia is usually mild and can be effectively overcome through the means of an appropriate medical treatment.
Walking pneumonia requires medical treatment with antibiotics and it is important to prevent spreading the disease to others. Maintain good hygiene and avoid close physical contact with other people until the disease is fully overcome. With the help of antibiotics, most walking pneumonia forms can be completely overcome in at 2-3 weeks.