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How to recognize mycoplasma infection?

Mycoplasma infection is a respiratory disease, provoked by amicroscopic organism called Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which is regarded asatypical bacteria due to the fact that it is smaller than a bacterium and yetbigger than a virus. It can affect everyone, regardless of the age or gender,but since it is contagious, it means that children who go to school andadolescents are a bit more at risk of getting infected, since they are exposedto various germs practically every day. The symptoms may appear even threeweeks after the person has been infected, but that will depend on severalfactors, among which are also general health of the person in question and themethod of transmission. The infected people are contagious from 10 to 15 days,and it is not really clear for how long the person is immune to the infectionafterwards. However, even if this infection occurs again, it is usually in amilder form.

As for the signs that may indicate this condition, the factis that they can easily be mistaken for the signs of a common cold, since they consistof sore throat, fever, cough, headache, bronchitis and feeling of tiredness muchmore than usual. Pain in the chest, though minor, may also be present, as wellas infections of the middle ear, and even nausea, rash or diarrhea, althoughthey occur very rarely. Still, it is important to be aware of the fact that thesymptoms develop gradually and it is not uncommon if they persist for more thana month. Very often this condition results in pneumonia.

How serious is mycoplasma infection and how to deal with it?

It is important to say that this infection is generally notserious. Besides medical history of the patient and the symptoms that arepresent, blood tests and X-rays of the chest help in diagnosing mycoplasma infection.Sometimes even the exact time when particular symptoms have appeared may be helpfulin setting the diagnosis.

When it comes to the treatment, once diagnosedwith mycoplasma infection, the patient will be prescribed with antibiotics,usually either erythromycin or tetracycline, since they are particularlyeffective. Still, in milder cases, no treatment is necessary, since this infectiontends to go away on its own. On the other hand, this bacterium may stay in thebody, particularly in the throat, for even whole three months sometimes.

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