How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Anthony Bray, MD Your Own Question
Anthony Bray, MD
Anthony Bray, MD, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10341
Experience:  14 years as clinician in the field of Family Practice
Type Your Health Question Here...
Anthony Bray, MD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Mycoplasma. Please tell me more about mycoplasma. Last year

Resolved Question:

Mycoplasma. Please tell me more about mycoplasma. Last year my youngest child had mycoplasma pneumonia and was extremely sick. Recently the child has been feeling poorly but not so badly as to miss school, etc. Complaints of headache, sore throat, nausea, cough. Today the child came home from school crying about a terrible headache, terrible sore throat, and terrible nausea. So I took the child to the pediatrician. Pediatrician said that there were NINETY cases of mycoplasma in the pedi's urgent care office just the last two days. So, the pedi felt safe with DXing my child with mycoplasma based upon symptoms alone and RXed an antibiotic. Pedi said mycoplasma is half virus and half bacteria. I don't understand that. Wouldn't the fact that my child had mycoplasma pneumonia within the last year help towards making the child immune to mycoplasma? We did NOT do blood tests to definitely confirm that the current illness is mycoplasma, but the pneumonia last spring was lab-confirmed mycoplasma. Thanks for any info. The child is 10.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 3 years ago.
Anthony Bray, MD : Hello!
Anthony Bray, MD : OK-- let's clear up a few misconceptions here!!
Anthony Bray, MD : Mycoplasma is NOT a virus!!
Anthony Bray, MD : It is classified as an ATYPICAL TYPE BACTERIA...
Anthony Bray, MD : it is a common pathogen with both upper respiratory infection such as sinus infections and lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia...
Anthony Bray, MD : there are different subtypes which is part of the reason that one infection may improve immunity but DOES NOT mean that you are necessarily immune to other subtypes ...
Anthony Bray, MD : it is treatable with some antibiotics such as Biaxin for example...
Anthony Bray, MD : the doctor it sounds made a best guess judgement based on what has been seen as cases in the immediate area -- the antibiotic treatment is empiric ( this means it is usually effective for a certain type infection such as ear infections and bronchitis )
Anthony Bray, MD : You are right that it is possible to check for IgM type antibodies for mycoplasma to help establish the diagnosis... This is an optional step.. The main thing of course is to see him get well...
Anthony Bray, MD : you may always opt to set up time to discuss the diagnosis with this doctor or another if you choose...
Anthony Bray, MD : Oh and with out immune response there are some type illnesses in which each illness corresponds with improved immunity--- step throat works like that -- the first case is usually worst and subsequent cases cause less illness... By the time most of us get > age 50 strep throat is uncommon in this group due to accumulated immunity over time...
Anthony Bray, MD : with mycoplasma it is a bacteria with many subtypes or variants and it is very common cause of respiratory illness ( the name mycoplasma pneumoniae) makes people think in terms if pneumonia--- it does cause cases of pneumonia but also less severe respiratory infections more commonly...
Anthony Bray, MD : mycoplasma may present s bit differently at times than bacterial respiratory infections-- dry cough building over several weeks is common for this pathogen...
Anthony Bray, MD : His current illness would be separate -- quite distinct and unrelated to his illness a year ago!!! It would NOT be that he somehow harbored this infection for this long a period if time!!
Anthony Bray, MD : i hope this information helps!
Anthony Bray, MD : let me know if you have further questions! I will be happy to get back with you!
Anthony Bray, MD : if my answer has been helpful and to your satisfaction then please remember to leave positive feedback. That would be much appreciated! Thank you and best regards! Anthony Bray MD
Anthony Bray, MD and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
OK, so getting mycoplasma pneumonia in April 2013 may have provided her with a bit of immunity towards one type of atypical bacteria mycoplasma.
But now, apparently, a different type of atypical bacteria mycoplasma is running amok in our school system. So she's apparently caught some new variant of mycoplasma and is sick with it again.
Does this Dx make sense? She just feels lousy, and worse, but not lousy and horrid enough to miss school? No noticed fever. No actual vomiting. No screaming bad sore throat like in strep to make her stop eating. Just misery and whining for weeks on end until finally she's miserable enough to get her mom to take her to the doctor. Does that sound like mycoplasma? Her ears and throat looked OK. Her lungs were clear. Nothing in her belly hurt. No enlarged spleen or liver.
I said that maybe the Rx was that mom needed valium. Ha ha. I just got so sick of her non-stop whining. And today - to have her come home from school in TEARS, saying she wanted to puke all over everything and that every single noise and word hurt.
Her eating has been fine. Well, fine-ish. Slightly reduced appetite but nothing worrisome.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Oh - you have to do an antibody test to prove mycoplasma? No wonder the pedi said "we'll skip the million dollar test unless we absolutely have to do it". It's not just a simple swab-and-bake like strep, eh?
Doc said it should take 5 days to feel back to normal.
Here's to hoping! Five more days of non-stop whining is perhaps more than I can handle.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She has had a non-productive annoying cough for weeks. Never so awful as to make me think "needs to see the doctor", but yet bad enough to annoy her. She'd get coughing fits at school. It's a dry cough.
It seems to make sense that we're on the right track then.
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 3 years ago.
Hello again!
You should be a writer with your colorful descriptions!! It sounds vague indeed based on her symptoms! It could fit potentially with Mycoplasma illness but I have to say that it does bit sound that there are any very strong diagnostic clues in that direction!! I more suspect that the doctor may estimate this as perhaps > 50 % likelihood based on recent patterns and then prescribed antibiotic that would cover mycoplasma and other common bacteria as well.... So in five days if mycoplasma she would feel better... If pneumococcal infection she would be doing better... If viral then the antibiotics would be nothing more than placebo but due to time course if most viral illnesses then she would likely be feeling better!!!
So keep a watch on her I would say ... Watch for the unexpected worsening for some reason . That would be the main safeguard.
You are right that the mycoplasma blood test is possible but it may not be highly likely at this point to change much....
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have further questions! Best regards !!
Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks. People tell me all the time I should write. Like Amory Blaine I would write immortal literature if only I "were sure enough about anything to risk telling any one else about it. There is no more dangerous gift to posterity than a few cleverly turned platitudes." :-)
She's still miserable and whiny and crying tonight as she heads to bed with one dose of antibiotic in her. We shall see what morning brings.
I am a lucky mama that all my children LIKE school. None of them has ever feigned an illness to avoid school. My oldest is in college now so you'd think I'd have learned by now that if I have a whiny don't-wanna-go-to-school kid that it's for real, and possibly doctor worthy. But no, I am >50 and genuinely blonde so I may never learn. Sent the second oldest to 4th grade once with pneumonia. She's headed to college next year. Maybe one day she'll forgive me. I try to be extra gracious about chauffering her & her friends all around town in the hopes of making amends for The Pneumonia Blunder of 2006. I'll ask again when she's 30 if I've been forgiven yet.
Gosh I should go to bed. I'm prattling on.
Thank you for the advice. Sounds like she's on the mend, and if not well by the weekend we should investigate further.
Oh! I remembered why I was writing -
Doc said she's fine to go to school because all her classmates are sick too. (Cynicism is an occupational hazard of medicine I suspect.) If she's truly miserable tomorrow I might let her stay home and sleep. But I am a sub and I am scheduled to work in a class with very challenging students. They are non-verbal, autistic, BIG teen boys. So I would have a problem if she's too sick for school. Well, more precisely, the school where I am supposed to work would have a problem & would need to find another sub. I hope she's well enough for school in the AM. She LOVES school and cries when she can't go.
More rambling...
Thoughts on sending her to school? Now that I truly KNOW she's sick?
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 3 years ago.
Hello again!
I agree with you to make this a judgment call based on how she feels . I have generally observed that our bodies themselves are very " smart" and tells us when we need rest to recover from illness .
I think ideally that it would be a good idea to keep her out for 24 to 48 hours if she has this really annoying cough!! This may help to prevent others from getting sick . ( now I have three of my own and I know it is in no way practical to keep kids home every time they have a cough!! My goodness , they would be 30 years old in graduating 12th grade at that rate!! )
Still if she has a severe cough I would factor that into your calculation as well! I think the best measure is her sense of well- being. I'm sure cut would be easier to keep her home than to need to drop everything and go pick her up!
I hope that she feels better soon! Take care! Let me know if you have further questions! Best regards,
Anthony Bray MD
Anthony Bray, MD and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 3 years ago.
This is Dr. Anthony Bray from We spoke the other day with your concerns regarding mycoplasma. Thank you for your questions and using out service! If you have future medic or health questions then I welcome you to return! If you should wish to reach me specifically then you may by going to my profile page. This is at--
Once there then type your comments or questions on the box on that page. Thank you again! Take care and best regards,
Anthony Bray MD