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Diagnosis
Diagnosing Mycoplasma pneumoniae Infection

The symptoms of Mycoplasma pneumonia have a gradual and often insidious onset of several days to weeks after infection that makes empirical diagnosis difficult. Symptoms can include4:

  • Fever (may be high)
  • Malaise
  • Persistent, slowly worsening, dry cough
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Scratchy sore throat
  • Sore chest and tracheal tenderness
  • Pleuritic chest pain (rare)

Differential diagnosis4

Many diseases present with similar symptoms. The following must be ruled out in diagnosing Mycoplasma pneumonia:

  • Pneumonia (viral, aspiration, bacterial, immunocompromised)
  • Empyema and abscess
  • Infection by:
    • Chlamydia pneumoniae
    • Legionella pneumophila
    • Chlamydia psittaci
    • Chlamydia trachomatis
    • Coxiella burnetii

Learn about testing for Mycoplasma

 

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