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Walking Pneumonia Recovery

Walking Pneumonia Recovery

Many people think that walking pneumonia is the same as pneumonia. Though true - they are both infections of the lung - walking pneumonia is a far milder infection and as such has a shorter or quicker recovery time. To understand what walking pneumonia exactly is, and how fast you can recover from it, read on...
Kundan Pandey
Last Updated: Apr 6, 2018
Did You Know?
A milder form of pneumonia, walking pneumonia or atypical pneumonia recovery is even possible without medication, in which case it can take up to 4 weeks for recovery. Post diagnosis medication, however, helps to shorten this recovery period to as little as two weeks.
Walking pneumonia is usually caused by the bacterial organisms Legionella pneumophila, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Chlamydophila pneumoniae. Medically known as atypical pneumonia - as its symptoms differ from pneumonia caused by common bacteria - it is a mild infection of the lungs, which if left untreated, can progress to a severe form of pneumonia. The name walking pneumonia comes from the fact that the condition is not severe enough to require either total bed rest, or hospitalization. The affected individual can move about, or 'walk' and is able to perform daily tasks. In fact, at times, the person may not even realize that he is suffering from atypical pneumonia.

Due to the similarity in the name, many people consider both to be the same disease. However, pneumonia is much more severe, and causes inflation of the alveoli. In most cases, patients suffering from pneumonia need to be hospitalized, and recovery takes about a minimum of 4 weeks. Walking pneumonia, on the other hand, is a milder infection, to the point of not showing any symptoms in its early stages. Patients suffering from walking pneumonia face a shorter recovery time (2 weeks), though a complete cure can take as long as 4 weeks as well. Intensive medication is not necessary in case of walking pneumonia, and thus patients are able to carry on with their day-to-day activities. However, proper and timely medication is a must for a quick recovery.

Symptoms of Walking Pneumonia
As mentioned earlier, it is quite possible for a person infected with walking pneumonia to show no symptoms at all in the early stages. However, within 15 to 20 days of the infection, the following symptoms start to manifest.

  • exhaustion
  • ear, eye, and chest pain
  • rashes
  • headache
  • lethargy
  • mild fever
  • sudden chills
  • lack of energy
  • sore throat
  • body ache
  • runny nose
  • weakness
  • diarrhea
  • cough (little or no sputum)
  • confusion (older people)
If you notice any of the above symptoms, particularly weakness and lack of energy, it is advisable to get yourself checked by a doctor, who will be in a better position to detect any infection. With proper medication, the infection takes anywhere between 1-3 weeks to cure. Symptoms will noticeably worsen for the first week, but improve dramatically in the second week. However, even after the symptoms improve, the patient may still feel weak, exhausted, and lethargic, and it can take a while before these go away completely.

Recovery from Walking Pneumonia
As mentioned before, complete recovery from walking pneumonia can take around 4 weeks. However, it takes about only a week for most of the symptoms to wear off. Remember though, that the incubation period for the infection is anywhere from 5 - 20 days, and even after the symptoms wear off, adequate care needs to be taken to avoid a relapse.

In most cases, patients do not realize they are suffering from walking pneumonia, and hence do not go to a doctor for medication. The symptoms that manifest are taken care of either by home remedies, like drinking lukewarm water for sore throats, or OTC painkillers for body ache, and aspirin for headaches. It is possible, but not recommended, for walking pneumonia to get cured on its own, with little or no medication, over a period of time. However, there are equal chances of the infection getting worse, especially in younger children, and the elderly. People with other afflictions, such as those with heart problems, or those suffering from kidney problems, may face complication if not attended to medically.

In cases where the infection is detected and identified as walking pneumonia, antibiotics are the main form of treatment. Usually a course of two weeks, antibiotics are taken orally, unless the symptoms worsen, in which case they are administered intravenously. While you can go about your daily chores, it is advised to take as much rest as possible, and drink a lot of fluids. You should start feeling better about 2 - 3 days after starting the antibiotic course. However, in case you don't, or if the condition worsens, inform your doctor immediately. With proper medication and rest, the infection should improve in about a week to 10 days, however, for you to be completely cured it will take a further 3 weeks.
Home remedies and OTC medication are common self-care measures for atypical pneumonia patients. However, one should be extremely careful when it comes to self-medication. Cleanliness and proper hygiene are important, both to avoid infection, and while infected. Though recovery from walking pneumonia seems to be easy, it is essential to monitor the symptoms and consult a doctor, if required.

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.