Walking pneumonia can be a very dangerous disease, not for the person infected, but for everyone around them. While the symptoms of walking pneumonia by definition are much milder than the one that requires hospitalization, it would be a good idea to be familiarized with them to know when to stay at home and protect the people around one’s self. Not everyone has a great immune system – children and the elderly are most often the casualties of pneumonia. The following are the general symptoms of walking pneumonia.
- Coughing. The coughs that walking pneumonia elicits will most likely not produce sputum. Coughing can spread the infection around to people with more vulnerable immune systems, so one should cough into a hanky or wear a face mask at all times. It’s only polite, and it keeps everyone around much safer.
- Fatigue. Again, with walking pneumonia the symptoms will not be as severe as to impair from work, but one will still feel tired all the same. This sort of tiredness will be a little impairing, but should not be something that a good cup of coffee won’t cure.
- Sneezing. As with coughing, try to sneeze into a hanky or wear a face mask to avoid infecting other people. Sneezing can be irritating and distracting. One should not perform delicate work when suffering from cold-like diseases while sneezing.
- Headaches. Headaches are a general symptom of many diseases, but if it comes with the aforementioned symptoms it may be walking pneumonia already.
- Other pneumonia-like symptoms. Eventually, the infection may spread to the lower respiratory tract, that is to say, the lungs, and may infect an entire lobe. This will be the part where it can get severe, but again, it is not the type to severely incapacitate anyone with a competent immune system.
- A resistance to antibiotics known to work against ordinary pneumonia. This type of pneumonia is also called “atypical pneumonia” and as such will be resistant to the antibiotics designed for its usual causes. Penicillins and sulfonamide will not work on atypical pneumonia. As always, this is part of the reason that antibiotics should not be self-medicated.
- Getting sicker and sicker within a week, and then recovering slowly afterwards. It takes a while to completely recover, but while recovering, one tends to be able to do work. However, one is still infectious at that point.
While these symptoms sound like the ordinary flu and other diseases that one could walk off, one should still stay at home if one gets sick with these, or as stated before, wear a face mask. Pneumonia can be a very severe disease. Among infectious diseases, it is one of the worst causes of mortality in the United States. In 2013, per 100,000 people, roughly 17 died of pneumonia. The statistics are small, thanks to general healthcare, but not insignificant – pneumonia can still make a recovery from this small number, and it is up to the people to make sure that they are protected from it. Make sure that you know the symptoms of pneumonia, including walking pneumonia, so that it does not spread within your community. Health is not a private responsibility, but the responsibility of everyone in the community, and as such, if you feel that you are sick with a potentially severe disease, you should make sure that you stay at home or go to the hospital and get yourself checked. It is not enough to have good hospitals to take care of the sick. It is much better to prevent more people from getting sick than to have to go to the hospital, which may have a congestion of patients.