What exactly is walking pneumonia? Understand its causes, symptoms, treatment

What is walking pneumonia? Know Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and More
What is walking pneumonia? Know Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and More

Walking pneumonia, also known as atypical pneumonia, differs from typical pneumonia as it is less responsive to conventional pneumonia treatments. It is a bacterial respiratory infection affecting both the upper and lower respiratory tract, often leading to confusion with bronchitis due to similar symptoms. Its mild and common symptoms often result in the condition going unnoticed, with medical attention only necessary in severe cases where symptoms are identified. Children are more susceptible to this infection than adults, and its duration can range from a week to a month.

Signs and Symptoms of Walking Pneumonia

The symptoms of walking pneumonia are mild, resembling those of the common cold. Initially, the individual may not exhibit any unusual symptoms for approximately a week, making it challenging to detect the condition. It’s only when the symptoms worsen after a week or so that the condition becomes apparent. Here are the symptoms typically observed in a patient with walking pneumonia:

  • Common cold
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Inflammation in the throat
  • Chills
  • Labored breathing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
Symptoms of walking pneumonia

Walking Pneumonia Types

Thank you for providing that information. While there’s a common understanding of walking pneumonia as a milder form of pneumonia, it’s less commonly recognized that specific bacteria can cause it. Here’s a breakdown of the three types of walking pneumonia based on the bacteria responsible:Legionella pneumonia: Also known as Legionnaires’ disease, this is a more severe form of walking pneumonia. In severe cases, it can lead to respiratory failure and even death. Individuals with chronic illnesses, particularly older adults with underlying medical conditions, are at higher risk of contracting Legionella pneumoni

Each type may have its own nuances in terms of symptoms, severity, and treatment approaches, but they all fall under the broader category of walking pneumonia

Walking Pneumonia Types

Walking Pneumonia Vs. Bronchitis

Because of similar symptoms, walking pneumonia and bronchitis are frequently confused. However, their symptoms allow for differentiation. While walking pneumonia impacts both the upper and lower respiratory tract, bronchitis solely affects the bronchial tubes. Walking pneumonia presents symptoms akin to a common cold, whereas bronchitis prompts a productive cough with mucus production. Additionally, sneezing, a runny nose, and fatigue are observed in both conditions. Learning to discern these symptoms is crucial for accurate diagnosis.

Those at Risk for Walking Pneumonia

Who are at risk of walking pneumonia?

Although anybody can get this respiratory infection, the risk is higher in:

  • Children under 2 years of age.
  • Older adults aged 65 years or above.
  • Individuals with weakened immune systems.
  • People with chronic illnesses.
  • Patients with respiratory conditions such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
  • Individuals who smoke tobacco.
  • Those who take immunosuppressant medications.

Possible Treatments for Walking Pneumonia

Home treatment

In most cases, walking pneumonia can be effectively managed at home. Symptoms typically resolve within a week, but if they persist, medical attention may be necessary. It’s important to note that walking pneumonia is contagious and can spread through water droplets, although transmission is more likely when symptoms are severe.


Typically, this bacterial infection can be effectively managed with antibiotics. If you’re experiencing symptoms of walking pneumonia, it’s advisable to consult a doctor for appropriate treatment.