How Long Does It Take to Recover from Walking Pneumonia? 

Often, people are surprised to find out they have walking pneumonia. Affecting both the lower and upper respiratory tract, the bacterial infection is often mistaken for a common cold. Unlike pneumonia, with walking pneumonia you can carry on with your daily activities, sometimes hardly noticing you are sick. Because the infection is penicillin resistant, it can be hard to treat and can affect you anywhere between a week to over a month. It depends on several different factors.


How Long Does It Take to Recover from Walking Pneumonia?

Walking pneumonia is also called atypical pneumonia because it differs in cause, symptoms and treatment than pneumonia. It has an incubation time of one to three weeks, even though symptoms can disappear as quickly as 5-7 days. During walking pneumonia recovery time, it is important to take care of yourself or you run a chance of relapse.

Undiagnosed Walking Pneumonia

Some people never even know they are infected with walking pneumonia and it runs its course on its own. You might mistake your infection for a bad cold and take over-the-counter medications to deal with symptoms like headache, sore throat and body aches. If you are lucky, you will not have any complications. Unfortunately, people with weak immune systems, like young children, the elderly and those suffering from other medical conditions, cannot always fight off the infection on their own. This can lead to an extended recovery time, serious complications or even death.

Diagnosed Walking Pneumonia

If you are diagnosed by a medical professional, you will be prescribed a two-week course of antibiotics. This will help fight off the infection, hopefully reducing your walking pneumonia recovery time. You may be able to continue doing some of your daily activities, but it is recommended you get lots of rest and increase your fluid intake. Often, your symptoms will start to clear up within 3 days of starting your antibiotics. With rest, you should see significant improvement within a week and recovery within 3 weeks.

Home Remedies That Promote Recovery

Eating Tips During Pneumonia Recovery

  • Drink lots of water. Not only does it flush toxins out of your system, it hydrates your cells so they can easily receive nourishment.
  • Consume less dairy. They have been known to promote mucus production.
  • Eat foods that reduce acid production. Consider adding lemons, vegetable juices, broth, onions, ginger, garlic, turmeric and other foods full of antioxidants to your diet.
  • Drink herbal teas. Several have antioxidant properties such as Echinacea, lemon, rosehip and ginger teas. Warm ginger or lemon water works as well to fight inflammation.
  • Reduce sugar intake. Besides sweets and candies, avoid alcohol, coffee and processed foods as the sodium, caffeine and sugar in these foods lowers your immunity.

Lifestyle Recommendations for Pneumonia Recovery

  • Get plenty of rest. A tired body results in a weak immune system.
  • Sit by a window. If you can sit by a window, or outside if weather permits, for 10-15 minutes in the sunshine, your skin will absorb vitamin D. This nutrient is known for boosting immunity.
  • Stay warm. During your walking pneumonia recovery time, you may get chills or sweats. Make sure to stay warm during these bouts.
  • Restore good flora. Antibiotics kill all the bacteria in your system, including the good types. This can affect your digestive and immune system. Take steps to reintroduce the good bacteria to your system through probiotics.

Natural Treatments for Pneumonia

  • Take colloidal silver, a natural supplement. It has antioxidants and immune boosting properties that will help fight infection.
  • Add probiotics. These supplements are a natural way to restore your bodies flora and build your immunity.
  • Consume herbs. There are several herbs you can add to your diet or take in supplement form to boost your immunity. Full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, some to consider taking include Echinacea, elder, olive leaf, andrographis, golden seal and mullein.
  • Take zinc. A zinc supplement can go a long way in helping shorten walking pneumonia recovery time. To get the most benefit, you should take as soon as symptoms start. Zinc works to fight infections and inflammation.

How to Prevent It

Tips for Pneumonia Prevention

  • Get your vaccinations. Vaccinations are designed to protect you and your family from potentially fatal infections. Speak to your doctor about vaccines available for the flu and pneumonia. The age and condition guidelines continually change so your medical provider will have the most up-to-date information.
  • Wash your hands. The spread of germs by touching an infected person or surface is one of the most prevalent ways infections are spread. Wash your hands before eating, touching your face or handling food. If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer.
  • Rest and exercise. The stronger your immune system, the greater your chances of fighting an infection. Getting enough rest and having a regular exercise routine are part of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Quit smoking. If you smoke, stop immediately. It impedes your body’s ability to fight infections and delays your walking pneumonia recovery time.
  • Get your family vaccinated. Getting your vaccinations is only one step. It is important to get your whole household treated. The pneumonia vaccine is available to young children and the elderly. Flu shots are available for almost anyone over 6 months old.


Walking pneumonia, also known as atypical pneumonia, is a highly contagious illness. It can be spread between people as easily as the common cold. Direct contact to the disease through touching a person infected or something an infected person has touched is the most common way to contract the disease. Because of this, if you have walking pneumonia you should get medical treatment right away. Until you have fully recovered, you should have minimal contact with others. This is especially important when it comes to children and the elderly.

Tips to Avoid Spreading Infection

  • Avoid contact with others. If you are infected with walking pneumonia, you should stay away from large groups of people. You should limit contact with others, especially those with compromised immune systems, young children and the elderly.
  • Get your flu shot. Keeping your vaccinations up-to-date helps thwart the spread of infection. This includes your annual flu shot.