Essential Facts You Should Know About Pneumonia

This article highlights some important facts about pneumonia, including definition, types of pneumonia, causes, mode of transmission, symptoms, diagnosis, when to see a doctor, and easy treatment. 

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. It can affect either one or both lungs at the same time. The disease causes inflammation in the lungs’ alveoli. Alveoli are tiny air sacs found in the lungs. As the alveoli swell with liquid or pus, breathing becomes challenging. Pneumonia can affect anybody, young children and elderly individuals alike. People with pre-existing immune-system-compromising medical disorders are the groups of people most at risk of contracting pneumonia. These same kinds of people are also more likely to experience pneumonia-related complications.

Pneumonia caused by bacteria or viruses is contagious and can spread to others. That implies they can transmit from person to person. A person can contract pneumonia by inhaling airborne droplets from a cough or sneeze from an infected person. These types of pneumonia can also spread by contact with surfaces or objects exposed to pathogens that cause the disease. Pneumonia caused by fungi can spread through the environment, but a person-to-person transfer is impossible.

Types of Pneumonia

There are various types of pneumonia. Depending on the class of pathogen involved. We have: 

  1. Bacterial pneumonia: A variety of bacteria cause pneumonia. However, the most typical is Streptococcus Pneumonia (S. pneumonia). Sputum-producing cough is the most typical sign of bacterial pneumonia. The cornerstone of pharmacological therapy for bacterial pneumonia is the administration of antibiotics. The symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can range in severity. While some people only have minor signs, others can suffer from serious problems.
  2. Viral pneumonia: Viral infections in the lungs causes pneumonia. Flu is the most frequent cause of viral pneumonia, although other viruses, including the common cold, can also cause it. Young children and older individuals are at higher risk of developing viral pneumonia because their bodies struggle more to fight the infection.
  3. Fungal pneumonia: Several endemic or opportunistic fungi can cause fungal pneumonia, an infectious condition that affects the lungs. Fungal pneumonia is less common than bacterial and viral pneumonia. 
  4. Aspiration pneumonia: This is a none infectious form of pneumonia that inhales food particles, liquids, or stomach contents into the lungs. 
  5. Hospital-acquired pneumonia: As the name implies, hospital-acquired pneumonia is a type of pneumonia you can get from a hospital. It is also known as nosocomial pneumonia. 

An odd type of pneumonia is walking pneumonia. Walking pneumonia is a milder form of pneumonia. People who have walking pneumonia might not even be aware of it. In contrast to regular pneumonia, walking pneumonia symptoms could seem more like a minor respiratory illness. Walking pneumonia, however, can necessitate a lengthier recuperation time.

Causes of Pneumonia

Bacteria: 

  • Streptococcus pneumonia
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Group A Streptococcus
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Haemophilus influenza
  • Moraxella catarrhal

Virus: 

  1. Influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  2. SARS-CoV-2 (the same virus that causes COVID-19)

Fungi: 

    1. Mucor
    2. Rhizopus
    3. Absidia
  • P. boydii
  • Rhizomucor

Mode of Pneumonia Transmission

There are many ways that pneumonia can spread. When inhaled, viruses and bacteria can infect the lungs. Additionally, airborne droplets from a cough or sneeze might transmit them. Also, pneumonia can spread through the blood during and right after childbirth. The various pneumonia-causing bacteria and the modes of transmission require proper study since they are crucial for therapy and prevention.

Symptoms

Pneumonia symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Your body’s reaction to pneumonia depends on the type of pathogen, age, and health status of the infected individual. Signs and symptoms of pneumonia include: 

  1. Coughs, which usually result in red, yellow, or greenish mucous
  2. Fever, perspiration, and chills
  3. Rapid, shallow breathing 
  4. A sharp or stabbing chest ache that worsens when you cough or breathes deeply
  5. Appetite loss, low energy, and exhaustion
  6. Vomiting and nauseous episodes, especially in young infants
  7. Confusion, particularly in the elderly

The most typical form, bacterial pneumonia, tends to be more severe than the other types of pneumonia. The symptom may present with fever with a temperature as high as 105°F with profuse perspiration and increased pulse rate. 

Viral pneumonia presents similar symptoms to influenza during the initial disease stage. Symptoms include dry cough, fever, headache, muscle weakness, and pain.

Diagnosis

The symptoms of pneumonia vary so much and frequently resemble those of the common cold or influenza. Therefore it is usually challenging to diagnose. Your doctor will inquire after your medical history, perform physical examinations, and recommend tests to determine the type of pneumonia and pinpoint the bacteria causing the sickness. 

When to see a doctor

Suppose you fall into the high-risk categories, such as individuals over 65 years, children under two years, or those with an underlying medical condition or impaired immune system. In that case, you must seek medical assistance for pneumonia. Pneumonia can swiftly become a life-threatening condition for some of these susceptible people.

You should visit a doctor immediately if you experience chest pain, a high fever, bluish discoloration of your lips or fingertips, difficulty breathing, or a severe or worsening cough with mucus. Additionally, you should consult your doctor if you suddenly feel worse after a cold or flu.

Easy Treatment

If you reside in the Tampa, Florida, area and believe you may have some mild pneumonia symptoms, search no further. TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track, provides the easy and reliable treatment you need. Our state-of-the-art medical clinics offer the best treatment for many illnesses. Our top-notch board-certified medical practitioners are always ready to attend to your sickness.

Our in-house lab testing and X-ray capabilities offer our patients comprehensive care. Therefore, they don’t have to waste time traveling to labs or imaging facilities. We also provide physical examinations and occupational health services. You can easily fit in time for your pneumonia treatment because our offices are open seven days a week from 8 AM. to 8 PM.

Disclaimer

The blogs presented by TGH Urgent Care in partnership with Fast Track are not a replacement for medical care and are exclusively intended for educational purposes. The content provided here should not be construed as medical guidance. If you are encountering any symptoms, we strongly recommend that you seek an appointment with a duly qualified medical practitioner at our nearest facility.

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Commitment to Responsible Prescribing Practices

We are committed to responsible antibiotic prescribing practices. Our goal is to adequately treat infections while protecting our community from the harmful effects of antibiotic resistant infections. TGH Urgent Care has earned the Antibiotic Stewardship Commendation Award from the Urgent Care Association due to our ongoing commitment to this goal.

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