Pneumonia vs Walking Pneumonia: Difference and Comparison

Pneumonia is a disease of the lungs that causes inflammation in the alveoli ( air sacs present in the lungs responsible for the exchange of Carbon dioxide and Oxygen). The air sacs get filled with fluid or pus and result in inflammation.

This can be a deadly disease for infants, children, and people aged over 65. On the other hand, Walking Pneumonia is the other non-medical term for pneumonia but on a lower level.

Walking Pneumonia is called atypical pneumonia in the medical language.

Key Takeaways

  1. Pneumonia is a severe lung infection with potentially life-threatening symptoms while walking pneumonia is a milder form that allows the individual to function relatively normally.
  2. Walking pneumonia has a faster recovery time and may not require hospitalization, while pneumonia requires more intensive treatment and monitoring.
  3. Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria commonly cause walking pneumonia, whereas various pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, can cause pneumonia.

Pneumonia vs Walking Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a lung disease that causes inflammation in the lungs due to the pus-filled air sacs caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. It is a severe lung disease that causes fever, breathlessness and chest pain. Walking pneumonia is a less severe case of pneumonia that can be easily treated with basic healthcare. It may cause mild symptoms of fever or cough.

Pneumonia vs Walking Pneumonia

Pneumonia, being on the severe side, can even lead to death if the sensitivity increases. A person with pneumonia may experience high fever, cough with mucus, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

The severity of this disease can take you to the route of getting hospitalized. Treatment may take longer to rehabilitate one.

Walking pneumonia is the milder stage of pneumonia. People diagnosed with Walking Pneumonia may even don’t determine it to be pneumonia as it shows slight and different symptoms such as cold, dry cough, and a little fever, one may misunderstand this with a viral infection.

Comparison Table

Parameter of comparisonPneumoniaWalking Pneumonia
MeaningPneumonia is the disease of the lungs that causes inflammation in the alveoli.Walking Pneumonia is the other non-medical term for pneumonia but on a lower stage.
Risk factorsHigher risk factorsLower risk factors
TypesThere are 3 types of Pneumonia, Bacterial Pneumonia, viral Pneumonia, and fungal Pneumonia.Walking Pneumonia is majorly of one Bacterial type. Caused by Bacterial infections
TreatmentTreatments like breathing treatments, corticosteroids, intravenous fluids, and oral antibiotics may be needed. Severe patients need to be hospitalizedTreatment can be done at home with the doctor’s guidance. An adequate amount of water should be taken and proper medical care as soon as one is diagnosed with Walking Pneumonia.

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a common disease among children. Let’s have a look at what the statistics show about pneumonia.

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In 2017, around 2.56 million people died of pneumonia, and most of them were children aged below 5 years.

Pneumonia is the major cause of death in children, especially those below the age of 5. Viral Pneumonia tops the list when it comes to the largest number of hospitalizations of infants in the world, especially in the United States.

Several factors are responsible for pneumonia and cause different types of pneumonia.

Bacterial Pneumonia

Streptococcus pneumoniae is considered to be the main cause of bacterial Pneumonia. Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Legionella pneumophila stand for the other causes.

Bacterial Pneumonia appears to attract life-threatening risks for the diagnosed individual.

Viral Pneumonia

Viral Pneumonia is the second most common Pneumonia that people suffer from. One may be diagnosed with a viral infection from coming in contact with influenza A, B, and C viruses and various other viruses like parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and varicella virus.

This type of pneumonia is not deadly, but people frequently get diagnosed with viral Pneumonia than the other types.

Fungal Pneumonia

Fungal Pneumonia is caused by fungal spores (associated with lung diseases). Pneumocystis jirovecii, Cryptococcus species, and Histoplasmosis species are some of the fungi that are responsible for fungal Pneumonia.

People may attract these fungi from bird droppings or soil. Fungal Pneumonia has as high as 90% mortality rate in people with weak immune systems.

People diagnosed with this disease, if it remains untreated, are at a higher risk of death.

As we know, the three main types of Pneumonia,

  • Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia
  • Community-Acquired Pneumonia
  • Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia
  • and Aspiration Pneumonia (when bacteria enter our lungs through food or saliva)
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are the other names that Pneumonia is classified into.

Is Pneumonia Contagious?

Yes, Pneumonia is contagious, it may transfer from person to person or by the surface and environment.


What is Walking Pneumonia?

Walking Pneumonia, as mentioned earlier, is the non-medical name of mild Pneumonia. Bacterial infection is the main cause of Walking Pneumonia, including Bacteria like Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydophila Pneumoniae, and Legionella Pneumoniae ( being the cause for the most severe type of Pneumonia).

Symptoms include

  • Sore throat
  • Mild fever
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Labored breathing
  • Dry cough

Walking Pneumonia is easier to treat, but it is not easier to recognise as the symptoms replicate viral infections such as a cold and a cough; hence, in some cases, symptoms come into consideration when getting severe.

Walking Pneumonia needs longer to get cured than Pneumonia, however, it can be treated with normal treatments, including antibiotics.

walking pneumonia

Main Differences Between Pneumonia and Walking Pneumonia

  1. Pneumonia and Walking Pneumonia are both lung diseases but differ on the severity level. Walking Pneumonia is a mind version of Pneumonia.
  2. There are three main causes of Pneumonia, but in Walking Pneumonia, bacterial infection is the main reason.
  3. Pneumonia has a higher risk factor, while on the other hand Walking Pneumonia is mild and involves lower risk factors.
  4. Treatment of Pneumonia doesn’t take long while walking. Pneumonia takes as long as six weeks of treatment to cure.
  5. Symptoms of Pneumonia may get severe as the shortening of breath and high fever, while symptoms of walking Pneumonia are mild and as of viral infection.
Difference Between Pneumonia and Walking Pneumonia

Last Updated : 05 September, 2023

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14 thoughts on “Pneumonia vs Walking Pneumonia: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The detailed comparison between pneumonia and walking pneumonia, along with the in-depth coverage of symptoms, risks, and treatments, greatly enhances the understanding of these conditions. A well-researched and insightful article.

  2. This article provides a comprehensive comparison between pneumonia and walking pneumonia, detailing the symptoms, causes, and treatments. It’s excellent for understanding the differences between these two lung infections.

    • The detailed comparison presented here is very enlightening. It helps dispel common misconceptions about pneumonia and walking pneumonia, offering a more accurate understanding of these conditions.

    • Absolutely, this article offers clear and concise information about both illnesses, making it easier for readers to comprehend the variations, particularly regarding risk factors and treatment.

  3. The detailed insights into pneumonia’s prevalence and the specific causes of viral, bacterial, and fungal pneumonia are highly enlightening. This article serves as an enriching resource for medical knowledge.

    • Absolutely, the in-depth knowledge shared about the various causes of pneumonia is commendable. It offers readers a comprehensive understanding of this widespread lung infection.

  4. The comprehensive breakdown of pneumonia, along with the attention to detail in outlining the differences between bacterial, viral, and fungal pneumonia, is exceptional. This is a highly informative piece.

  5. The article provides crucial insights into the severity and risks associated with pneumonia versus walking pneumonia. It’s highly educational and a must-read for anyone looking to understand these lung infections.

    • Absolutely, the distinction made between the two conditions is incredibly helpful for individuals wanting to differentiate between pneumonia and walking pneumonia. This article is a valuable resource.

  6. The clarification about the contagious nature of pneumonia and the informative insights into the causes and symptoms of walking pneumonia are commendable. This article provides valuable educational content.

  7. This article effectively clarifies the differences between pneumonia and walking pneumonia. The comprehensive comparison allows readers to comprehend the nuances of these pulmonary infections better.

  8. I appreciate the informative details provided in this article, especially regarding the causes and types of pneumonia. The comparisons make it easier to comprehend the nuances between pneumonia and walking pneumonia.

    • The breakdown of different types of pneumonia and the associated risk factors truly enrich the understanding of these lung conditions. This article adds great value to the medical knowledge base.

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