Is Walking Pneumonia Contagious?

Although they are contagious, the germs that cause walking pneumonia don't always cause this illness. Instead, these viruses and bacteria are more likely to cause upper respiratory infections. However, in some cases (especially in people with a weakened immune system), so many bacteria or viruses get into the lungs that they overwhelm the body's defense systems, resulting in walking pneumonia.

How Contagious Is Walking Pneumonia?

Walking pneumonia is simply a milder case of pneumonia. It can be caused by a number of different types of bacteria and viruses. The most common organism responsible is the bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
The viruses and bacteria that cause walking pneumonia are contagious. However, it is unlikely that a person with walking pneumonia would give another person this condition. Instead, when spread, these germs are more likely to cause upper respiratory infections such as the common cold or flu.

Why the Germs Don't Always Cause Pneumonia

The bacteria or viruses that cause walking pneumonia are usually found in the mouth and nose of the infected person. They can be spread to another person either through the air or when an uninfected person touches a contaminated surface and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.
When a person becomes infected, the germs begin to multiply within the affected area. The immune system tries to kill the germs, while the germs try to multiply.
The germs also try to spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs and blood. But in most cases, the body prevents from happening. So if a person does develop symptoms, they are usually limited to where the infection entered the body (see Cold and Flu Symptoms).
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Walking Pneumonia Information

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