Walking Pneumonia: 4 Ways to protect yourself from getting it

Walking pneumonia is a less severe form of the respiratory disease. Generally, symptoms...

Walking pneumonia is a less severe form of the respiratory disease. Generally, symptoms are mild and don't require a hospital visit and you may not need bed rest. Still, no one likes to be sick. Follow these tips to avoid pneumonia and to keep yourself from spreading it.

#1: Practice good hygiene.

Good hygiene habits are great for helping you to avoid a multitude of illnesses, including coughs, colds and other viral infections. Practices that help the most include washing your hands regularly to prevent germs from entering your system. Always use soap and warm water and lather well, rubbing your hands together before rinsing. Do this after physical contact with people, after touching surfaces in public places and before and after eating.

If you are already sick, prevent germs from spreading by covering your mouth or nose when you cough or sneeze. Don't use your hand, though. Instead, cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm. If you sneeze into your hand and then touch a doorknob, for example, you'll only be spreading the germs further.

#2: Avoid sick people.

If you work or live in a place with a high concentration of people, you run more risk of contracting walking pneumonia. The bacteria is contagious and spreads easily in a crowded environment, and if anyone with the illness sneezes or coughs, the chances of catching it increase. If you have no choice but to be in this type of environment, particularly during late summer and fall, try to avoid close encounters with anyone who appears to be sick, even if they seem to have nothing but a common cold.

If you are already sick, stay home. Don't try to be the hero who goes into work. Your coworkers don't want to get sick and you need your rest.

#3: Build up your immune system.

  • Strengthen your body to help it resist infections such as walking pneumonia by eating healthy foods that include a range of vitamins and minerals.
  • Focus on eating as much fresh fruit and vegetables as you can, especially leafy green items, such as kale, broccoli and spinach. Fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C will help strengthen your immune system.
  • Keep your system hydrated by drinking enough water and other fluids.
  • Make sure your body gets sufficient rest and exercise.

#4: Get Treatment Early

See your Atlanta-area doctor immediately if you suspect you've caught something, even if you don't think it's serious. Without early treatment, the illness can result in pneumonia that cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing up of blood, chest pains or fingertips turning a bluish shade. If you allow your condition to get to this point, you may have long-term health complications and it could be harder to regain your health and strength afterward.

Avoiding walking pneumonia is much simpler and better than trying to get rid of the illness once you have it. Take note of the high-risk factors and time of year and protect yourself by following these principles.

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