Singing sensation Elton John has postponed his next concert on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour less than one day after apologizing to fans for being forced to cut a set in New Zealand short due to walking pneumonia.
“I played and sang my heart out, until my voice could sing no more. I’m disappointed, deeply upset and sorry. I gave it all I had,” the British singer-songwriter wrote on his Instagram. “Thank-you so much for your extraordinary support and all the love you showed me during tonight’s performance. I am eternally grateful.”
The “Rocket Man” singer is still standing, but what is walking pneumonia and how serious is it?
I want to thank everyone who attended tonight’s gig in Auckland. I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia earlier today, but I was determined to give you the best show humanly possible. I played and sang my heart out, until my voice could sing no more. I’m disappointed, deeply upset and sorry. I gave it all I had. Thank-you so much for your extraordinary support and all the love you showed me during tonight’s performance. I am eternally grateful. Love, Elton xx ? @bengibsonphoto
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Different from regular pneumonia
Dr. Marie Budev, a pulmonologist at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, said the term “walking” pneumonia is a nod to its milder symptoms.
The symptoms, which include chest pain, chills, a cough, headache and fever can emulate that of a cold, appearing more gradually than other types of pneumonia. So much so, Budev said, a person could have the illness and not even know it.
“The reason why it’s called walking pneumonia is because you can walk around with relatively less symptoms than you would with a full-blown bacterial pneumonia and still function and not think that you have pneumonia,” she said.
Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs that causes inflammation in the air sacs in your lungs. The air sacs fill with fluid or pus, making it difficult to breathe.
But walking pneumonia, also known as atypical pneumonia, is less severe, caused by a bacteria called Mycoplasma pneumoniae. According to Budev, “it’s actually more common than we think.”
On their website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said atypical pneumonia is most frequent in kids, college students and geriatric patients.
“Elton is not young anymore,” said Budev. “I’m not surprised with his gruelling schedule, his hours and how much time and effort he puts into things that it could have caught something like this. And within his age group, I don’t think it’s unheard of.”
That being said, she emphasized that there was most likely no cause for alarm. Budev said she highly doubted John’s walking pneumonia would permanently affect his singing abilities.
“I don’t think that we should be concerned that he will never come back to touring. But I think we’ll be talking about what sort of load he’ll be carrying each time he tours, especially during certain times of the year,” she said.
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