Atypical pneumonia: what is it, symptoms and treatment

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Atypical pneumonia is a lung infection caused by microorganisms that are less common than normal pneumonia, which includes viruses, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Legionella pneumophila O Chlamydophila pneumoniae.

This type of pneumonia is generally contagious through contact with drops of saliva from an infected person, which is why it is most common among people who share small spaces, as is the case with prisoners or the military, being an important suspicion when all the family presents the same symptoms.

If it is known as a severe pneumonia, the atypical pneumonia is cured and its treatment can be carried out at home with rest and the use of antibiotics prescribed by a doctor or a neurologist. What happens is that, as it is caused by other less common types of microorganisms, its treatment can be more difficult and slow, with greater probabilities of complications.

main symptoms

The signs and symptoms of atypical pneumonia can be a little different from those of common pneumonia, and include:

  • Constant low fever;
  • Dry tones that empeora con el tiempo;
  • nasal catarrh;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Pain in the pecho;
  • Sore throat;
  • Pain in muscles and joints;
  • Easy tiredness.

Symptoms of atypical pneumonia can take between 3 to 10 days to appear and can worsen over several weeks.

How to confirm the diagnosis

The diagnosis of an atypical pneumonia is usually indicated through an evaluation by the doctor, who will analyze the symptoms and determine if there was contact with another person who could have a respiratory infection.

Asimismo, the doctor also evaluates signs of seriousness and requests blood tests and a chest X-ray, especially to understand what the type of pneumonia is, because the pattern that appears in the result of the X-rays and in the blood tests to be different in the case of atypical pneumonias.

How it is transmitted and what mayor risk is transmitted

Atypical pneumonia is contagious, being easily transmitted through contaminated drops of saliva. Therefore, it is always important to cover the mouth with a pañuelo or with a mask at the time of coughing to avoid contaminating other people with any type of respiratory infection.

As the symptoms of atypical pneumonia can take a few days to appear, it is possible that the person can transmit the illness before confirming the diagnosis, especially if there is a crisis of all or those affected. In this way, people who live in the same house what they are in close contact may be at risk of becoming infected and, for this reason, they should also go to the doctor to find out if they may be infected and start treatment.

Know some important precautions to avoid getting infected with pneumonia.

How is the treatment performed?

The treatment of atypical pneumonia lasts from 14 to 21 days and can be carried out at home with the use of antibiotics, such as Erythromycin, Azithromycin or Levofloxacin, prescribed by the neurologist or emergency physician. Since atypical pneumonia is caused by microorganisms different from those of common pneumonia, it is possible that during the treatment the antibiotics used are changed from time to time.

In addition, during the treatment it is recommended:

  • Perform nebulizations according to the doctor’s indications;
  • Avoid going to work or school;
  • Keep rest at home;
  • Cover the mouth with a cloth or a mask to make the cougher uncomfortable;
  • Drink lots of liquids, like water, natural juice or tea;
  • Avoid sudden changes in temperature.

These precautions are important to prevent the recurrent pneumonia from getting worse, causing complications such as respiratory arrest, encephalitis or myocarditis, for example.

Signs of aggravation of atypical pneumonia

The signs that the treatment is not having an effect include the increase in the fever above 40º and the worsening of the difficulty in breathing, which can generate rapid breathing and movement of the wings of the nose.

Faced with the signs of aggravation, it is important to go to the hospital, as it may be necessary to carry out new exams, change antibiotics or remain hospitalized for respiratory physiotherapy, receive oxygen or intravenous antibiotic injections.

Signs of improvement of atypical pneumonia

When the treatment is having an effect, signs of improvement in the situation usually appear, such as decreased fatigue in a period of up to 4 days, decreased fatigue and increased ease of breathing.

In spite of the signs of improvement of atypical pneumonia, the treatment with medicines must be maintained until the end of the antibiotic, avoiding relapses that worsen the pneumonia.

Verified by RJ9823 – Public Utility – cc2.0

Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

Content for educational purposes only

The translator user relied on the following text:

Tua Saude Website – REF93782 – Verified

Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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