Mycoplasma pneumonia is considered as a highly contagious respiratory infection that readily spreads via contact with respiratory fluids. The usual indication of the infection is a dry cough. If left untreated or progressed to a severe stage, it results to symptoms that affect the heart and the nervous system. In rare instances, the disease can be deadly.
A diagnosis can be difficult during the initial phases of mycoplasma pneumonia since there are a few unusual symptoms. As the disease progresses, laboratory and imaging tests might be able to detect it. Antibiotics can be given by the doctor to manage mycoplasma pneumonia. In case antibiotics are not effective, the individual might need intravenous medications.
What are the causes?
The bacterium Mycoplasma pneumonia is responsible for causing mycoplasma pneumonia. Not all who end up with a respiratory infection due to Mycoplasma pneumoniae will develop pneumonia.
When within the body, the bacterium might adhere to the lung tissue and reproduce until a full-blown infection develops. Remember that most instances are usually mild.
Who are at risk for mycoplasma pneumonia?
Among healthy adults, the immune system is capable of fighting off the disease before it can progress into an infection. Those who are at risk include the following:
- Children younger than 5
- Those who have sickle cell disease
- Individuals who have lung disease
- Individuals who have diseases that weaken the immune system such as HIV
What are the indications?
The indications of mycoplasma pneumonia are the same as the common upper respiratory tract infection. The usual symptoms include the following:
- Dry cough
- Persistent fever
In rare instances, the infection can be fatal and cause damage to the central nervous system or the heart.
The initial line of treatment for mycoplasma pneumonia are antibiotics. Children are given different antibiotics than the adults to avoid any dangerous side effects.
- Macrolides are the first choice of antibiotics given to children such as azithromycin, erythromycin and clarithromycin.
- The antibiotics that are given for adults include quinolones, doxycycline and tetracycline.
Not all individuals respond well to antibiotics. Other alternative treatments usually include certain types of corticosteroids such as prednisolone and methylprednisone.
For severe cases of mycoplasma pneumonia, antibiotics are needed along with immunomodulatory therapy. This is a form of therapy that boosts or reduces the effects of other medications.