The initial symptoms of pneumonia are quite similar to the common cold and to other respiratory viral infections. They include sore throats, blocked nose, chills, head ache and fatigue. The main difference between the two is that common cold subsides after a week and the symptoms of walking pneumonia worsen over a period of two weeks with the infected person developing a strong wet or dry cough. The coughing makes sleeping at night very difficult.
The primary symptoms of walking pneumonia are fever, chills, cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath. The patient often coughs up sputum usually consisting of saliva, mucus, dead cells, and other materials that may be streaked with pus or blood. More severe cases could develop a rash, respiratory problems or a lump in the neck area. In the severest cases, a patient shows signs of cyanosis. Cyanosis occurs when a patient's blood is getting insufficient oxygen. It manifests itself in the form of a bluish tinge to the lips and the nails.
Following are the main symptoms of walking pneumonia:
- Moderate to severe cough - often with a throaty sound.
- Sustained rapid or labored, strained breathing (to be distinguished from temporary rapid breathing caused by high fever).
- Medium to high fever - generally above 102 F but not always.
- Chest pains - during coughing and in between bouts of coughing.
- Vomiting - during and in between bouts of coughing.
- Bluish tinge to lips and face - from lack of oxygen.
- Wheezing - which is often a sign of a viral cold could also be a symptom of pneumonia.
It is best to seek medical treatment if you suspect that your symptoms are more serious from those of a cold or flu. If you are diagnosed with walking pneumonia, your chances of getting hospitalized are negligible. The doctor will prescribe antibiotics to relieve you of your infection. It is important to take adequate rest and stay away from people as much as possible so that you do not spread the infection. Washing hands frequently and following good hygiene methods will improve your immunity and resistance to the disease.