Lungs Home > Walking Pneumonia Signs and Symptoms

Although the signs and symptoms of walking pneumonia, such as dry cough, sore throat, headache, and chills, are similar to those of regular pneumonia, they tend to be less severe. In addition, signs of walking pneumonia often show up more gradually. The bacteria that cause walking pneumonia can also cause symptoms like anemia, skin rash, and tender joints.

What Are Some Possible Signs or Symptoms of Walking Pneumonia?

When a person is infected with the bacteria that most often cause walking pneumonia (Mycoplasma pneumoniae), the symptoms can vary. These signs tend to be less severe than pneumonia caused by other germs, hence the term "walking pneumonia." In other words, the person with this condition can still "walk around." The symptoms also tend to show up more gradually.
Some common walking pneumonia symptoms include:
  • A cough (either a dry cough or a cough that produces just a small amount of clear sputum -- a color in the sputum may happen later)
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • General feeling of fatigue
  • Low-grade fever (99° to 100.9°F or 37.3° to 38.3°C)
  • Chills
  • Runny nose
  • Ear pain.
A person with asthma may experience more severe symptoms when infected with the walking pneumonia bacteria.

Other Symptoms Outside of the Lungs

Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections can also cause signs or symptoms outside of the lungs. Some of these include:
  • A skin rash
  • Tender joints and muscles
  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Anemia.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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