Metro Detroit mom shares story of her son's 'white lung' pneumonia

In October, Julie Thompson’s life was turned upside down with both of her children sick at the same time.

Her daughter had an earache and at the same time, her son's health began to go downhill.

"He had a five- or six-day fever getting up to 103 and tested negative for strep," she said. "He tested negative for strep, we just had to ride it out."

But as her daughter got better, Thompson’s 6-year-old son was not improving. She took him to a doctor, and to ER and kept hearing the same message:

"'His lungs sound great, his ears look good,'" she said.

But Thompson says she continued advocating for her son and one doctor finally had a scan taken of her son’s lungs.

"One of his lungs was completely white and they said it was walking pneumonia," she said, "Which is that white lung pneumonia thing going on right now."

Thompson’s son was hospitalized for several days and is now back home on the road to full recovery.

"It’s amazing to have him back home and he’s okay," she said.

FOX 2 went to the Detroit Medical Center to learn more about what’s being described as white lung pneumonia, even though it did not treat Thompson’s son .

"White lung is really not a medical term or a term that doctors would use to refer to one certain type of pneumonia," said Dr. Lea Monday. "I think it’s a social media term based on the appearance of inflammation that can look white on the chest X-ray in the lungs of kids who have been getting sick with various types of seasonal respiratory illnesses."

Doctors also make it clear that the pneumonia that children like Thompson’s son had, is not connected to pneumonia that’s been seen recently in China.

"It’s not related or tied to those cases in China as in that it was transmitted from there to here," Monday said.

Doctors say what is taking place is that regular fall and winter respiratory infections like RSV, Covid, and flu are on the rise, and if your symptoms do not improve, see a doctor immediately.

As for Thompson, her son will turn 7 years old in a few weeks and they are ready to celebrate - and are thankful he’s much better

"He wanted to go bowling," she said. "But I think we will try to do something bigger."

Joel and Julie Thompson

Joel and Julie Thompson