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Mycoplasma pneumoniae is an important respiratory tract pathogen. Several syndromes have been associated with the infection including pharyngitis, tracheobronchitis, pneumonia, and inflammation of the tympanic membrane presenting as bullous myringitis. M pneumoniae accounts for approximately 20% of all cases of pneumonia. Classically, it causes a disease that has been described as primary atypical pneumonia. The disease is of insidious onset with fever, headache, and malaise for 2 to 4 days before the onset of respiratory symptoms. Most cases do not require hospitalization. Symptomatic infections attributable to this organism most commonly occur in children and young adults (ages 2-19 years).
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