I remember the world being taken by storm when the story hit the news that Hillary Clinton may not be fit to run the government of the United States of America. The rumors before was that she was dying of a mysterious disease nobody had heard of, and there was nobody with factual evidence as to what exactly was wrong with her. Unfortunately, on September 11th, 2016, after attending the commemoration service of the remembrance of the 2001 attack on the Twin Towers, as she was leaving the 2016 memorial of the 9/11 victims, she appeared to have fainted, and a video captured the event showing how she was hoisted helplessly into the van. Eventually, the Doctor of the former first lady of the United States, Lisa Bardack confirmed that she had been diagnosed with Pneumonia on the previous Friday before the remembrance.

Although, only about two hours later she emerged from the apartment of her daughter, waving and smiling to everyone, signifying she was hale and hearty. She seemed to have been able to continue the campaign in a healthy state, most people wondered how that was possible, some even speculated it was a cover-up for a much graver disease or terminal illness. But the disease she was infected with was called “Walking Pneumonia” and according to the healthcare professionals, “Atypical Pneumonia” as it is the medical term for the condition is that type of Pneumonia that can be cured quite quickly.

What is Walking Pneumonia?

So, what is Walking Pneumonia? Is it the Pneumonia that allows one to walk around or the one that one gets infected with while walking or the microorganisms that cause the infection have the ability to walk? Firstly, Pneumonia is an inflammatory disease that affects the lungs. It could affect one or the two lungs, typically caused by bacteria, but can be as a result of viral and fungal infection. However, the term atypical was given to this group of Pneumonia because they were found to be resistant to the penicillin medications, beta-lactams, and other antimicrobial drugs.

The major source of walking pneumonia is the bacterium Mycoplasma pneumonia. There are other forms of atypical pneumonia-like Chlamydophila pneumonia and Legionella pneumonia. Walking pneumonia does not weigh down the patients or requires hospitalization like the other types of pneumonia. Most people with the disease do not even realize that they have been infected with the disease. This is because the illness presents with similar symptoms to that of the common cold and flu. Common symptoms of coughing, sneezing, mild fever, sore throat, headache, and tracheobronchitis, maybe we should add exhaustion to the list now that we have all experienced the fall of Hillary Clinton. Symptoms may be exacerbated if proper consideration and management are not carried out.

The causative microorganisms, Mycoplasma pneumonia, live and reproduce in the respiratory tract. They can alter their shape and size according to the nature of the location they find themselves in the respiratory system. This is as a result of the absence of the rigid cell wall in their structure.

The questions that will be asked will be about the duration of symptoms being experienced, family history, and possible places of infection like workplace and recent travels, as the mode of spreading is through air-borne water droplets containing the bacteria. The breath sounds will be assessed with the stethoscope, and a couple of chest X-rays will be carried out as well. Definitive diagnosis is often made from bacteria culture of secretion samples through throat swabs or respiratory washing. In some cases to eliminate other sources, the physician could recommend getting the urine sample of the individual tested.

One usually gets relieved of Mycoplasma pneumonia on its own after a short period. If the symptoms are severe enough to require treatment, there are several types of antibiotics available that are effective. Use of antibiotics may shorten the recovery period.

Now, we get to understand the magic behind the swift recovery of the 67th Secretary of State of the US. Naturally, without any intervention, Mycoplasma Pneumonia is fought off by the individual’s immune system within a few weeks. This amount of days can be further reduced by placing the infected person on an antibiotic regimen. Also, these antibiotics can be used for cases that have deteriorated, and severe symptoms can already be observed.

One can bet that the former Presidential aspirant had enjoyed the services of one of the best medical teams in the world. They must have been watching out for her wellbeing and deal with such a feeble infection appropriately, after all, she was the wife of a former head of state, a former senator herself and on her way to becoming the first female President of the United States of America. For her to resume her campaigning, she must have received the best reviewed and effective treatment regimen.

Macrolides are the top choice for treating the disease in children and adults. Examples of macrolides commonly prescribed are Azithromycin and Clarithromycin. Another class of antimicrobial medications that are also effective except in young children is the Fluoroquinolones like Ciprofloxacin and Levofloxacin. There are some reports gradually turning up the resistance of Walking Pneumonia to Azithromycin most likely due to its widespread use for the treatment of other infections. If that should happen, one can still be treated with yet another option such as Tetracycline, which is preferred for adults and older children.

Preventing this infection is a bit tricky as there are no vaccines like in the case of the flu shots. The body’s immunity can also not protect one from having it again, so the best practice is just for one to practice general hygiene. For instance, washing hands quite regularly with soap for about one-third of a minute, using hand sanitizers that are alcohol based and covering one’s mouth when coughing to avoid spreading infection with one’s sleeve or elbow.

Now we know that Walking Pneumonia is indeed that Pneumonia that does not land you in the hospital, bedridden and you walk around with it without even realizing it. One can be cured of it much easily relative to the typical Pneumonia without pills or even at a faster rate with specific antibiotics.




DerSarkissian, C. (2016). What is Walking Pneumonia?WebMD. Retrieved 17 February 2018, from https://www.webmd.com/lung/walking-pneumonia#1

Pneumonia: Atypical (Walking) Pneumonia Prevention | Cleveland Clinic. (2015). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved 17 February 2018, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15744-pneumonia-atypical-walking-pneumonia/prevention

Tesmond, J. (2016). Hillary Clinton Addresses Poor Health Rumors: “Yeah I’m Sick, I’m the Fucking Illest”Yew Nork Times. Retrieved 17 February 2018, from http://yewnorktimes.com/2016/08/hillary-clinton-addresses-poor-health-rumors-yeah-im-sick-im-the-fucking-illest/