Atypical pneumonia is a type of pneumonia that is difficult to distinguish when it comes to the causative agent, symptoms or the clinical course. Healthcare professionals oftentimes use the term to refer to cases of pneumonias that are caused by Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Legionella pneumophila or Mycoplasma pneumonia. In some cases, it can also include viral pneumonias that are categorized as atypical pneumonia. The vagueness of this type of pneumonia is due to the indistinct symptoms of these infections which tend to overlap one another as well as with other illnesses.
Fever can occur with any of the atypical pneumonias but this symptom is not present in a uniform manner. Elevated fever and chills can occur with the Legionella pneumophilia infection or commonly known as Legionnaire’s disease. As for mycoplasma pneumoniae, it can also cause high fever in some individuals but low-grade fever is more common. Since fever is a common symptom of various diseases, enrolling in a first aid course will provide you with measures to help out the individual.
Cough typically occurs in all types of pneumonia including atypical pneumonia. The distinguishing feature of Legionnaire’s disease is high likelihood that the individual will end up coughing up blood. The phlegm that is streaked with blood does not usually occur with other forms of atypical pneumonia.
Muscle aches can occur with any of the atypical pneumonia that are caused by bacteria. The viral roots of atypical pneumonia such as the influenza viruses have always been the common cause of this symptom.
A potentially characteristic feature of atypical pneumonia that is caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae is the manifestation of skin rashes. The other types of atypical pneumonia do not usually trigger the formation of skin rashes.
It is important to remember that a sore throat can also manifest with the condition that is caused by Chlamydophilia pneumoniae or Mycoplasma pneumoniae but not present among those with Legionnaire’s disease. It is also noted that those who have sore throat can be a feature of viral pneumonia.
Diarrhea and abdominal pain
Both abdominal pain and diarrhea typically occurs with Legionnaire’s disease. As for mild diarrhea, it can occur if the individual has Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection of the lungs. Take note that the gastrointestinal symptoms are not present in other forms of atypical pneumonia.
Fast breathing and shortness of breath
It is important to note that fast breathing and shortness of breath are the usual indications of atypical pneumonia. Take note that these indicators are not specific to atypical pneumonia and can also occur with other forms of pneumonia as well as other diseases that affect the lungs and heart.
Fatigue and malaise
Malaise and fatigue can occur in any form of typical or atypical pneumonia. The severity of these symptoms tends to vary from one individual to another and could not be used to differentiate the underlying cause of pneumonia.