Signs and Symptoms

A grandmother reading to her sick grandson

Children who get Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection usually have signs that appear more like a cold than pneumonia.

In general, infections caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae are mild. Once someone becomes infected with the bacteria, symptoms usually appear after 1 to 4 weeks.

Symptoms depend on the type of infection. The most common type of infection is tracheobronchitis (chest cold), but pneumonia (lung infection) can occur.

Common symptoms of a chest cold include:

  • Sore throat
  • Feeling tired
  • Fever
  • Slowly worsening cough that can last for weeks or months
  • Headache

Common symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • Cough that may produce mucus
  • Fever and chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling tired

Children younger than 5 years old could have symptoms that are different from older children, and may have the following cold-like symptoms:

  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Watery eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea