Walking pneumonia is a mild form of pneumonia that is caused by the bacteria, named as Mycoplasma pneumoniae. This infection of the respiratory tract is not as severe as the one caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, or the rest of the 78 variants of the pneumococcus bacteria. Viral pneumonia is also caused by this type of virus.
A child suffering from this ailment is not forced to take compulsory bed rest but can move about or walk freely. Hence, this condition is named as walking pneumonia. Here are a few signs and symptoms that you may find useful as a parent:
- At the onset of the infection, common cold or influenza might occur.
- Your child will start showing decreased activity.
- Cough lasting more than 7 days.
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- The child may complain of headache.
A kid with walking pneumonia appears to hold his/her fort at the onset against this infection of the lungs. After some time, some of the signs of this disease may disappear. On the other hand, other symptoms may change their form and degree of severity, providing you a cause to worry as a parent.
It is not uncommon for the children to have infections leading to fever and cough. However, if the child continues to cough after the fever has abated, it is a cause of concern. When it transforms to dry cough at night, you should take it very seriously. At this stage, it is advisable to take proper medical advice from the doctor, who may diagnose that your child is suffering from this health problem, and suggest proper cures for it.
You should not let the infected child mingle with other children and adults. This is a cause of concern because it is highly contagious. It spreads through the air by clinging to the droplets expelled out, while the infected person coughs or sneezes.
- The doctor may prescribe antibiotics to the child, as it is caused due to bacterial infection.
- The physician may also prescribe anti-fever medicines as part of the treatment, to fight and control the fever that the child may be suffering from. The fever may result because of the response of the child's immune system to the bacterial pneumonia.
- In case of walking pneumonia in babies, the doctor may advise that parents make the baby drink plenty of water. Children suffering from the infection must drink as much water as possible. This will hasten recovery from the infection.
- Bacterial infection may block the movement of the lung fluids, for which the prescription may include a cough suppressant. If the sputum contains blood or is red in color, it is advisable to take your child to the doctor.
- The X-ray of the child's chest may help the doctor in diagnosing the severity of the condition.
- If your kid is having difficulty in breathing, immediately consult a physician. It might be due to the reduced oxygen level in the blood. The oxygen can be supplied externally to your baby or child, which will definitely help.
- After consulting with an expert, you may apply a heating pad to the child's chest, which may relieve him/her of the pain.
- On your part as a parent of an infected child, it is necessary for your kid to undergo necessary treatment, and even before that, start taking precautions such as covering his or her mouth before sneezing or coughing.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.