Atypical Pneumonia

(Walking Pneumonia)

Definition

Pneumonia is a lung infection. It can occur in people of all ages.Atypical pneumonia is a mild form of the infection. Many with this type of pneumonia can continue normal activities while sick. It is also commonly known as walking pneumonia.All types of pneumonia are potentially serious conditions. It will require care from your doctor.
The Lungs (Cut-away View)
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Causes

Atypical pneumonia may be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. They tend to be different than the bacteria that cause more traditional forms of pneumonia.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of atypical pneumonia include:
  • Contact with someone who has an infection (mycoplasma and chlamydia)
  • Exposure to water or soil that contains the bacteria (legionella)
  • Living in closed communities, such as dormitories in boarding schools or colleges, nursing homes, and military barracks
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Lung disease
  • Weakened immune system

Symptoms

Symptoms of atypical pneumonia may include any of the following:
  • General signs of infection such as:
    • Fever (mild)
    • Enlarged lymph nodes
    • Chills
    • Muscle aches and pains
  • Signs of respiratory infection such as:
    • Cough that may produce phlegm
    • Chest pain
    • Shortness of breath
    • Fast breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Abdominal pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin rash

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