What are diagnostic considerations for 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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M pneumoniae is one of the most common causes of community-acquired pneumonia in otherwise healthy patients younger than 40 years. Mycoplasmal pneumonia is most common in the first two decades of life and is rare in children younger than 5 years, and large outbreaks of mycoplasmal pneumonia tend to occur in the late summer and fall, particularly in closed populations, such as in military and prison populations.

The incubation of mycoplasmal pneumonia tends to be smoldering and averages a period of 2-3 weeks, in contrast to that of influenza and other viral pneumonias (generally average a few days). The absence of a cough, particularly one that is persistent and slowly worsening, makes the diagnosis of M pneumoniae unlikely.

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