‘Walking pneumonia’ reported in India: What is it, symptoms and treatment

7 cases of walking pneumonia have been reported in the national capital of India, with concerns increasing all over the country. Here's everything you need to know about it.
Walking pneumonia
Walking pneumonia cases reported in India. Image courtesy: Adobe stock
Arushi Bidhuri Published: 8 Dec 2023, 14:03 pm IST
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If you are keeping up with the news, you must have heard that China is currently grappling with respiratory illnesses, including pneumonia. The country has been reporting a sudden spike in winter infections, and it looks like the wind has made its course to India as well. As India tackles various health challenges, this seemingly mild form of pneumonia, known for its resilient nature, has affected some people in the country. While there have been reports of seven cases of “walking pneumonia” in Delhi, authorities are saying that these cases have nothing to do with the current situation in China.

Walking pneumonia reported in India

According to recent media reports, seven samples of Mycoplasma pneumoniae, a bacterium linked with the cause of ‘Walking Pneumonia’. Allegedly, the cases were detected between April and September this year. Given the history of bacterial infections spreading at a rapid rate from different countries, one might think that these cases might have something to do with the current situation in China. However, the Health Ministry recently issued a statement claiming that these “seven cases have no link whatsoever to the recent surge in respiratory infections in children reported from some parts of the world, including China.”

What is “walking pneumonia”?

The changing weather and rising respiratory infections are increasingly becoming a concern for people. The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is by being aware and understanding the disease.

For the unversed, “walking pneumonia,” also known as atypical pneumonia, refers to a mild form of pneumonia characterised by its less severe symptoms compared to typical pneumonia. The term “walking pneumonia” is derived from the fact that individuals affected often remain ambulatory and can continue with their daily activities despite being unwell. It is caused by bacteria like Mycoplasma pneumoniae or other microorganisms that manifest symptoms such as persistent cough, low-grade fever, fatigue, and mild respiratory issues. Unlike traditional pneumonia, it rarely requires hospitalisation and can often be managed with rest, hydration, and sometimes antibiotics, depending on the underlying cause. It’s important to seek medical advice for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

What are the symptoms of walking pneumonia?

As per multiple medical authorities, including Cleveland Clinic, the common symptoms of walking pneumonia include:

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  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle ache
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Low-grade fever
  • Mild chills
  • Sneezing

The symptoms of walking pneumonia can vary from one person to another, so it is best to get it checked to know if it has affected you or not.

pneumonia
Cough and cold are symptoms of walking pneumonia. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How is walking pneumonia treated?

Walking pneumonia, typically caused by atypical bacteria like Mycoplasma pneumoniae, is often treated with antibiotics. The antibiotics given depend on a person’s health condition. In addition to antibiotics, your doctor may recommend the following ways to treat walking pneumonia:

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  • Adequate rest for fast recovery.
  • Drinking plenty of water to avoid getting dehydrated.
  • Medications such as ibuprofen could be recommended to reduce fever and discomfort.
  • Advised to avoid close contact with others until a healthcare professional confirms that the infection is no longer contagious.

As per health authorities, walking pneumonia usually goes away on its own without treatment. However, it is best to consult a healthcare provider to help you get the best treatment.

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About the Author

Arushi Bidhuri is a journalist with 6 years of experience in writing, editing, and conceptualizing story ideas in different genres, including health and wellness, lifestyle, politics, beauty, fashion, etc. Arushi has a strong connection in the industry that helps her write concise and original stories as she believes in working towards writing pieces that can enlighten people. ...Read More

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