Walking pneumonia or atypical pneumonia is a bacterial infection that mostly occurs in the lower, but may also affect the upper, respiratory tract. The condition is less severe than other types of pneumonia, and the symptoms are treatable with rest and over-the-counter medications. Many people confuse walking pneumonia with the common flu because they have nearly identical symptoms, and though the former often lasts longer, it generally resolves within a few weeks at most. Usually, symptoms start to develop within two weeks of exposure, though in some cases, the bacteria can incubate for up to a month.
One of the most common symptoms of walking pneumonia is a sore throat, which can cause irritation, pain, and itchiness. A sore throat often develops along with other symptoms of infection in the upper respiratory tract, including coughing and wheezing. It is important to distinguish the symptoms of walking pneumonia from those of bronchitis. The latter's symptoms mostly affect the bronchial tubes, whereas walking pneumonia commonly affects any part of the respiratory tract from the bronchioles down to the alveoli. That is why a person is more likely to experience irritation and discomfort in the throat with pneumonia. Medication and cough syrup can alleviate pain, but it is best to first consult a physician.
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