By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute
All children with walking pneumonia have a fever. Walking pneumonia mainly strikes children more than 5 years old. Walking pneumonia starts like a common cold with a sore throat, headache, running and stuffy nose, slight increase in temperature and dry cough. A few children become severely ill and have trouble breathing. You must call the doctor immediately, if the child has trouble breathing.
It is widely believed that walking pneumonia is a dangerous pneumonia where you do not have a fever – this is entirely wrong. All people with walking pneumonia have a fever and in far the most cases the illness is not particularly serious.
The illness is called walking pneumonia because its patients can sometimes continue to walk around, while suffering from its symptoms.
The illness is caused by a certain bacterial infection in the airways called mycoplasma. Walking pneumonia mainly strikes the slightly larger children and is rare with children less than 5 years old. The illness occurs every winter but approximately every four years many cases appear – a so-called epidemic.
Walking pneumonia starts like a common cold with a sore throat, headache, running and stuffy nose, slight increase in temperature and dry cough. A few become severely ill and have trouble breathing. The illness is lengthy and a lot of children cough in up to 3 to 4 weeks. Since it is possible to contract the illness several times during the same winter, some people are bothered by coughing for several months.