Perhaps it should be called “trailing pneumonia”. You don’t feel bad, but you are really tired and weak, with a dry cough that won’t go away. You may also have a mild fever. When such symptoms persist, it may be foot pneumonia. A generally milder form of bacterial pneumonia, it’s usually easily treated after you see a doctor.
Foot pneumonia is an atypical type of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia.
Cases of pneumonia fall into one of two groups depending on where you get the infection. Community infection means that the infection has appeared in your daily life, whether at school, at work, or in some other public space.
In contrast, nosocomial or nosocomial pneumonia tend not to be ambulatory pneumonia.
Different types of bacteria cause different types of pneumonia, with varying treatments and severity. Although people sometimes use “foot pneumonia” as a catch-all term for any milder pneumonia, including viral pneumonia, the medical definition is narrower. With foot pneumonia, mycoplasma bacteria are the culprit.
Foot pneumonia is said to be “atypical” for several reasons. “With the classic types of bacterial pneumonia, people get sick suddenly and have severe symptoms that are quite acute,” says Dr. David LaFon, instructor in the division of Pulmonary, Allergic and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Alabama. in Birmingham. “Sometimes atypical pneumonia, which most people call foot pneumonia, will be a little less sudden in onset. Sometimes they can cause a dry cough and a less severe presentation.”
Learn more about pneumonia
Foot pneumonia is caused by the bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae. About 2 million cases of M. pneumoniae infection occur each year, although the number of cases is likely underestimated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Foot pneumonia is a respiratory disease.
Foot pneumonia is a respiratory disease. “Pneumonia has to enter the airways, so the gateway is through the mouth and nose,” says Dr. Laraine Washer, associate professor of infectious diseases at the University of Michigan School of Medicine and epidemiologist from the University of Michigan Health System hospital. “Someone can sneeze on you and you can just breathe it directly, or you can put it on your hands from the environment and in your airways as well. But for the most part, pneumonia is a direct infection.”
Children, adolescents and adults under the age of 40 are most likely to develop walking pneumonia. Classrooms, military barracks, college dorms, and crowded offices are some of the environments that encourage contagion.
“I’m so tired of coughing.” This is what general pediatrician Dr. Nick DeBlasio, medical director of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Pediatric Primary Care Center, usually hears from children who arrive with pneumonia on foot.
These kids generally look fine, DeBlasio said: “They are standing, they are walking – they appear to be healthy.” Because of this, parents often believe at first that their child’s cough is simply caused by a cold. However, he adds, “what is happening is the parents are bringing the kids because they are coughing so much.”
The children concerned are generally of school age. “Typically, we don’t see foot pneumonia, or mycoplasma pneumonia, until the kids are usually around 4 or 5 years old,” DeBlasio explains. “Usually you don’t see this in infants.”
Foot pneumonia causes a mild fever in some children, who may feel tired and depressed, DeBlasio explains. In children with asthma, he says, pneumonia can trigger the disease and make it a bit worse.
“Anytime you think a child has a cold but it doesn’t get better after a few weeks, it’s best to get it checked out,” DeBlasio says.
Foot pneumonia can cause the following symptoms in children and adults:
- Persistent, throbbing cough.
- Mild fever.
- Loss of appetite.
- Discomfort with deep breathing.
- Worsening of asthma symptoms.
To diagnose walking pneumonia, healthcare professionals will assess your symptoms, listen to your lungs, and possibly order an imaging test.
If you report a persistent cough, an ability to function but generally feeling unwell, with symptoms gradually appearing, doctors will consider walking pneumonia as a possibility.
The stethoscope exam helps doctors identify your specific respiratory condition. “Usually with a cold, the lungs will look pretty clear,” DeBlasio explains. “With more classic pneumonia, you tend to hear (characteristic sounds) more localized to a particular place in the lungs. But with walking pneumonia, you only hear a diffuse crackling in all the lungs, often on both sides. ”
Clinicians may or may not order a chest x-ray to provide further confirmation of foot pneumonia when you have persistent cold or flu-like symptoms that do not resolve.
Foot pneumonia is usually treated on an outpatient basis in a doctor’s office or clinic.
Oral antibiotics are the standard treatment for foot pneumonia, which does not resolve on its own. Azithromycin (brand name Zithromax) is commonly prescribed. “Typically, we treat the children for five days,” says DeBlasio. “They can still cough for a few more weeks.”
Adults are also prescribed azithromycin or a similar antibiotic in the same class (macrolide antibiotics). As with children, a shorter course of antibiotics is now recommended than before.
A review of evidence containing 21 studies compared the safety and effectiveness of short-term and long-term antibiotic therapy for community-acquired pneumonia, including mycoplasma pneumonia, in adults. The review, published in July 2018 in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, found that “clinical cure was similar between the groups compared.” In addition, “short treatment was associated with fewer serious adverse events,” the researchers found.
Before starting any antibiotic, find out about possible side effects or drug interactions. Tell the doctors about any problems you have while taking them. In general, you should finish your full course of antibiotics even after you start to feel better, experts say.
Common side effects of antibiotics like Zithromax include stomach problems such as diarrhea or loose stools, upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting. Your family doctor or pediatrician can suggest strategies for minimizing side effects. Over-the-counter probiotic supplements can help, says Dr. Heather Alden, family doctor at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City. Having yogurt is another strategy, especially for children. “They might not take a probiotic, but you can get them to eat yogurt,” she says.
Although coughing is a main symptom of foot pneumonia, taking cough medicine can be counterproductive. Coughing is the body’s way of removing mucus from the lungs. “I really don’t recommend any cough or cold medicine,” DeBlasio says. “They’re just more trouble than they’re worth.”
Hydration is important, especially with fever, to avoid dehydration that can occur. Supportive care for pneumonia includes “aggressive hydration,” Alden says, or drinking as much fluids as possible. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians’ website Healthychildren.org, giving children frequent sips of water, ice cubes, or diluted fruit juice can help. Additionally, pediatricians may recommend commercial hydration support products, some of which come in popsicle form for children.
Rest helps people recover, followed by a gradual return to full activity. Most people can recover from pneumonia on foot within a few weeks.
In addition to avoiding crowds, covering your mouth when coughing, and washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers, it can be difficult to stop the spread. pneumonia on foot. Once identified, “children have been dating other children for quite some time,” DeBlasio points out. He usually advises children not to go to school for 24 hours after starting antibiotics.
In some cases, foot pneumonia can lead to hospitalization if complications arise. The bacteria M. pneumoniae is the second leading cause of pneumonia-related hospitalizations in adults with community-acquired pneumonia, according to the CDC.
“Although M. pneumoniae usually causes mild illness, serious complications can occur, requiring hospital care,” notes the CDC website. For people with this infection, adverse health effects may include the onset or worsening of severe pneumonia or asthma symptoms, among others.