How can walking pneumonia be prevented?

Unfortunately, no vaccines are available to prevent walking pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Even if you have recovered from walking pneumonia, you will not become immune, so it is possible to become infected again in the future.

Tips for preventing walking pneumonia include:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. If a tissue isn’t available, sneeze or cough into the inside of your elbow or sleeve. Never sneeze or cough into your hands. Place used tissues into a waste basket.
  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Wear a mask around sick people if you have respiratory conditions (such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema) or other chronic health conditions (heart, liver or kidney diseases, or diabetes) that would make getting pneumonia even riskier for you.
  • Get your annual Influenza (flu) shot. Bacterial pneumonia can develop after a case of the flu.
  • Ask your doctor about the pneumococcal vaccine. Two types of vaccines are available, Prevnar 13® and Pneumovax 23®. Each vaccine is recommended for people at different age points or who are at increased risk for pneumococcal disease, including pneumonia.

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