PNEUMONIA, MYCOPLASMA (Primary Atypical Pneumonia; Eaton-Agent Pneumonia)
(Primary Atypical Pneumonia; Eaton-Agent Pneumonia)
Mycoplasma pneumonia is a contagious lung inflammation caused by mycoplasma germ. This germ can cause infection in other body parts. The respiratory system--including the nose, sinuses, pharynx, trachea, bronchial tubes, and lungs -- is involved. Mycoplasma pneumonia can affect both sexes, all ages, but is most common in children (1 to 12 years).
Appropriate health care includes:
Home care after diagnosis.
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
Hospitalization of a seriously ill child.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSCough (with or without sputum).
Bluish skin (severe cases).
Preceding mycoplasma infection in the nose, throat, or bronchial tubes.
Illness that has lowered your child's resistance.
Exposure to cold, harsh weather.
Crowded or unsanitary living conditions.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCE
Your child should avoid exposure to persons who are ill with respiratory infections.
Your child should not get chilled or wet in cold weather.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory culture of sputum and blood studies.
Chest and lung X-rays.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSProlonged illness.
This form of pneumonia is characteristically slow to heal. It is usually curable in 4 to 6 weeks with treatment. Your child's lungs should not have residual scars.
Use a cool-mist humidifier to increase air moisture around your child. Putting medicine in the humidifier probably will not help.
Don't suppress the child's cough with medicine if it produces sputum or mucus. Coughing is useful in ridding the body of lung secretions.
Suppress the child's cough with medicine it if it dry, non-productive, and painful. Consult your doctor about a cough suppressant.
Use a heating pad on low heat or hot compresses to relieve the child's chest pain.
Urge your child to catch sneezes and coughs with disposable tissue.
MEDICATIONAntibiotics, such as erythromycin, to fight your child's infection.
Cough medicine to make the cough more tolerable.
Nose drops, sprays, or oral decongestants to reduce congestion in the child's upper-respiratory system.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
Your doctor may prescribe:
Bed rest is necessary for your child until fever subsides. Normal activities should be resumed gradually.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet. Your child should increase fluids to at least 1 glass of water or other beverage every hour. Extra fluid helps thin lung secretions so they can be coughed up more easily.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When signs of infection have decreased, appetite returns, and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of mycoplasma pneumonia.
The following occurs during treatment:
-- Fever higher than 102F (38.9C).
-- Pain that is not relieved by heat or prescribed medication.
-- Increased shortness of breath.
-- Dark or bluish fingernails, skin, or toenails.
-- Blood in the sputum.
-- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.