Is A-Typical Pneumonia Contagious?

Written by susan presley
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Is A-Typical Pneumonia Contagious?
Coughing and sneezing spread atypical pneumonia. (Image by, courtesy of Erik Stabile)

Atypical pneumonia is sometimes referred to as "walking pneumonia." This is because the patient is able to walk around rather than being hospitalised. It is caused by various bacteria entering the lungs.

Spread of Infection

Atypical pneumonia is contagious. It is spread when people with the infection cough or sneeze. The droplets from their nose and throat contact other people, spreading the infection. Usually, a person must be in close contact for a prolonged period of time to become infected. Spread of the disease happens slowly. It is most often spread in situations where people are in close quarters for extended periods of time, such as schools, offices and families.

Who's At Risk

Spread of atypical pneumonia is most likely to affect the young, the chronically ill and those with weakened immune systems.


To prevent the spread of atypical pneumonia, people should always cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. As of 2009, there are no current vaccinations for atypical pneumonia.


Treatment of atypical pneumonia includes antibiotics. If the antibiotics not taken for at least two weeks, there is a chance the pneumonia can recur.


Past infection with atypical pneumonia can make a person immune, but the immunity is not lifelong. As of 2009, it is not known how long the immunity lasts.

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