Walking pneumonia is a fairly common condition that affects many children. Somewhere between 150 to 156 million children under the age of 5 each year are affected by this condition. Luckily, in the United States, pneumonia is no longer considered a life-threatening condition like it once was because of antibiotics and other modern treatments.
One of the most common forms of pneumonia is walking pneumonia. Walking pneumonia is a very mild form of pneumonia that is common in both children and adults. Walking pneumonia in children generally does not lead to hospitalization. Symptoms of walking pneumonia are usually less severe than symptoms of other types of pneumonia.
Symptoms of Walking Pneumonia
Symptoms of walking pneumonia are most commonly similar to the symptoms you would experience with a common cold. Children who get walking pneumonia tend to be more resilient than adults, and they may not act as sick. A child with walking pneumonia will usually eat and sleep normally, and have normal bowel habits. An adult is more likely to experience a disruption in their normal routines.
Some of the main symptoms of walking pneumonia include:
-Cough persisting more than seven days
-Low-grade fever (temperature of 101°F)
-Chills or body aches
-Decreased appetite in older children
-Chest or rib pain
-Feeling of general malaise or discomfort
-Labored breathing in severe cases
-Wheezing, which is more common in severe viral infections
-Causes and risk factors
-All types of pneumonia are due to a lung infection. Walking pneumonia is usually caused by an infection with the bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae. M. pneumoniae infection is less common in children under 4 years old. Some cases of walking pneumonia can also be caused by a respiratory virus, such as respiratory syncytial virus.
One study suggested that pneumonia caused by M. pneumoniae infection tends to occur in 3-4 year cycles. Another study found that in recent years the cycles have occurred less frequently in some geographical areas. Depending on where you live, you may notice more cases of walking pneumonia every 3-4 years.
If you smoke in your home or have caregivers that smoke around your child, your child may be more susceptible to catching pneumonia. Certain living conditions, such as very crowded spaces or homes with significant air pollution, can also contribute to lung infection. This is why you may see more cases of pneumonia in the colder fall and winter months, when people spend more time indoors. Children who have other health conditions or lowered immune systems are also at risk for pneumonia.
When to see a doctor
If you notice your child is lacking energy for an extended period of time, has trouble breathing, or suffers any noticeable changes in their behavior or appetite. Walking pneumonia is a lung infection, and it can turn dangerous very quickly, especially with young children.
Wellspire Medical Group is here for you. Our doctors are dedicated to getting you the treatment you need, so you can live the life that you deserve! Schedule an appointment with us today to make sure you are doing everything you can for your bones!
Wellspire Medical Group
8901 Farm to Market 1960 Bypass Road W #101
Humble, TX 77338