Walking Pneumonia Hits Montgomery

It's been a busy month at the Pri Med on Montgomery's Taylor Road.

With the cold weather comes an influx of patients, but this time around, there's a certain illness popping up more than usual.

"Over the past month or so I'd say [I've seen] 60 to 80 cases," said Dr. Chandler Muller, the facility's Medical Director.

It's called "Walking Pneumonia." A mild version of the typical illness, this type of strain is increasingly difficult for doctors to spot.

"Sometimes, we don't hear this when we listen to the chests of these patients.  A lot of times, the only way to really see it is on an X-ray," Muller said.

Spotting the infection is even harder for those who have it.

"Patients think they probably just have a little cold or allergies or something like that at first, so that's why they're not going to see the doctor," Muller explained.

Much like a cold, the symptoms can be quite ordinary.

Many patients complain of a sore throat, a runny nose, and a cough.

"The cough starts to really not be an issue at first, but as the illness progresses, it starts to become the main complaint," Muller said.

With such minor symptoms, walking pneumonia is a tricky illness.

Many people that carry the infection do so unknowingly, and will go about the daily grind without just taking some time off.

Doctors say that contributes to the spread of the infection.

"They're still going to work.  They're still going to school and church, and [they're] still visiting with friends, so they're still passing it around that way," Muller explained.

Doctors say there's really no way to prevent contracting the airborne infection.

However, cases are easily treatable with antibiotics.

Reporter:  Cody Holyoke