In a world that is still recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the term ‘mycoplasma’ might sound a bit alien. However, it’s important to brush up on your knowledge and get an understanding of this bacteria, the illnesses it can cause, the mycoplasma symptoms and signs of infection you need to watch out for, and what you should do in case you contract it.

What causes a mycoplasma infection?

Mycoplasma symptoms
Picture credits: Courtesy Unsplash/@CDC

Mycoplasma infection is caused by a naturally occurring genus of bacteria of the same name. This genus can cause respiratory diseases as well as pelvic inflammatory diseases. While the former is caused by mycoplasma pneumoniae, the latter is caused by mycoplasma genitalium. Like most infections, a mycoplasma infection from mycoplasma penumoniae should not be taken lightly, especially since the bacteria lacks a cell wall, a characteristic that also makes it relatively more resistant to antibiotics. This bacteria is also the primary cause of mycoplasma pneumonia. It’s also important to keep in mind that mycoplasma pneumonia can be transmitted from person to person.

Mycoplasma symptoms to look out for in case infected

The signs of infection manifest in the form of symptoms. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you are suffering from mycoplasma pneumonia, you will usually see the following respiratory symptoms:

In mild cases:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Feeling tired
  • Headache

In more severe cases:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Pneumonia

As most of these signs of infection also overlap with symptoms of the Coronavirus, it’s important to also get yourself tested for COVID in case you are suffering from these symptoms.

Can a mycoplasma infection cause death?

If proper treatment is provided, a mycoplasma infection won’t be fatal. However, it’s important to get treated if infected. While the prognosis is mostly good, according to BBC, a mycoplasma infection can cause inflammatory heart conditions in between 2.4 to 8.5% of the patients.

(main image credits: Courtesy Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)
(feature image credits: Courtesy Pexels/Pixabay)  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What are the symptoms of mycoplasma?

Answer: The usual symptoms of a mycoplasma infection include a cough, fever, sore throat, headache, and in more severe case, a pneumonia.

Question: How does mycoplasma affect the human body?

Answer: The mycoplasma bacteria can affect your body in two ways - it can either cause respiratory diseases or it can cause pelvic inflammatory diseases. How your body is affected depends on the type of mycoplasma bacteria you are infected by.

Question: Does mycoplasma require medical attention?

Answer: While a mycoplasma infection is usually mild, it can require medical attention in case the patient develops pneumonia. In any case, you should get yourself tested if you develop symptoms.

Question: Is mycoplasma a STI or STD?

Answer: While mycoplasma pneumoniae that causes respiratory diseases is not a STD, mycoplasma genitalium that causes pelvic inflammatory diseases is a STD.

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