Symptoms of walking pneumonia appear 15 to 25 days after exposure, with the symptoms developing slowly during two to four days, according to WebMD. The most common symptoms of walking pneumonia include a dry, violent cough and flu-like symptoms, such as a fever and the chills.
A patient with walking pneumonia may also present with lingering fatigue, sore throat, headache and weakness. Often, patients with walking pneumonia may also have an ear infection, anemia or a skin rash. Mild forms of the infection may be left untreated and heal on their own, but more severe cases may require antibiotics to clear up the infection. Antibiotics tend to relieve the symptoms within a week, according to WebMD.
WebMD explains that many people with walking pneumonia never know that they have it because the symptoms resemble the flu or a bad cold. A doctor can determine if a person has walking pneumonia with a chest X-ray or blood test. Blood tests can identify if Mycoplasma or cold agglutinins are present.
Walking pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma bacteria is contagious, notes WebMD. The infection is spread when one person comes in contact with nose or throat droplets from a contagious person, which occurs through coughing or sneezing.