Mycoplasma pneumonia is an infective agent which causes the disease of the same name. This bacterial pneumonia, also known as atypical pneumonia, features with increased body temperature, sore throat, pain in muscles and headaches. This bacterium was at first thought to be a virus. It was later on, when scientist found that this infective agent is actually a bacterium. The confusion was caused by insufficient genetic content in the nucleus of the bacterium. Young adults are predominantly affected by mycoplasma pneumonia.
Symptoms and Signs of Mycoplasma Pneumonia
The intensity of symptoms and signs of the disease range from mild to severe ones. It is general health of the patients what determines the intensity of symptoms.
The bacterium Micoplasma pneumonia does not posses cell wall and has selective affinity for epithelial cells of the respiratory tract. The infection affects the entire respiratory tract. The leading symptom of the diseases is paroxysmal cough.
Generally, the symptoms of this disease are not so severe and the disease itself cannot cause significant complications. Some people can be infected with this bacterium but they do not develop any symptom of the infection at all. On the other hand, in around 10% of all patients symptoms may be rather intensive and serious. Even if patient is only complaining about the enlargement of lymph nodes or the doctor discovers the inflammation of the eardrum the patient can be suffering from mycoplasma pneumonia.
Still the most common symptoms and signs of the disease include fever and high body temperature. Soar throat and dry cough are present as well. The patient additionally complains about headaches and pain in muscles. In some people even chest discomfort can occur. All the previous symptoms and signs additionally lead to exhaustion.
In rather rare cases the bacterium may lead to muscle fatigue, stiffness of joints and skin rash. Pain in the ear as well as soreness of eyes is reported in small number of patients. And finally, even though it is possible, chest congestion rarely occurs.
The previously mentioned symptoms and signs of the disease develop after the incubation period of approximately 3 weeks.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Mycoplasma Pneumonia
Definitive diagnosis can be set after the blood is tested to the presence of antibodies to mycoplasma. The infection of the lungs can be easily confirmed by physical examination and auscultation by stethoscope. Chest X-ray can be of additional help in conformation of the lung infection.
The patient is prescribed specific antibiotics which will eradicate the bacteria.