What are the signs and symptoms of mycoplasmal pneumonia?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Michael Joseph Bono, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Mycoplasmal pneumonia is a disease of gradual and insidious onset of several days to weeks. A recent Cochrane Review determined that M pneumoniae cannot be reliably diagnosed in children and adolescents with community-acquired pneumonia based on clinical signs and symptoms. [21] The patient's history may include the following:

  • Fever, generally low-grade

  • Malaise

  • Persistent, slowly worsening, incessant cough. The cough ranges from non-productive to mildly productive with sputum discoloration developing late in the course of the illness. The absence of cough makes the diagnosis of M pneumoniae unlikely. [22]

  • Headache

  • Chills but not rigors

  • Scratchy sore throat

  • Sore chest and tracheal tenderness (result of the protracted cough)

  • Pleuritic chest pain (rare)

  • Wheezing

  • Dyspnea (uncommon)

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