Of all infectious disorders, Pneumonia accounts for 18.3% of deaths in children aged younger than 5 years. This makes it a single largest infection-causing death.
Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection. It can be caused by any viruses, bacteria, or fungi infection.
Infants younger than 3 years and people older than 65 are mostly affected by such infection because of weak metabolism.
Pneumonia is a lung infection that fills air sacs in the lungs with fluid and pus. This causes difficulty in breathing that automatically leads to an insufficient supply of oxygen to the body.
One or both the lungs can get affected by pneumonia. One can also get attacked by pneumonia unknowingly, and doctors call this walking pneumonia.
Symptoms Of Pneumonia
The symptoms of Pneumonia depends on its cause (the type of infection attacked) and generally starts with cold and flu followed by some common symptoms such as:
- Chest pain when you breathe or cough
- Cough that produces phlegm or mucus
- Fatigue and loss of appetite
- Fever, sweating, and chills
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea
- Shortness of breath
- Shaking chills
- Fast heartbeat
- Muscle pain
Causes Of Pneumonia
Infection through bacteria, viruses, or fungi causes pneumonia such as:
- Streptococcus pneumoniae
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Pneumocystis jiroveci is a common cause in HIV- infected infants.
- Flu viruses
- Cold viruses
- RSV virus
- Mycoplasma pneumonia
The symptoms of pneumonia can be initially diagnosed by inspecting the breathing process.
Pneumonia is a lung infection which causes problems in breathing and therefore can be diagnosed initially by checking the breath.
To understand the intensity of infection, the doctor may suggest undergoing certain treatments like:
- Blood Tests for the sign of bacterial infection.
- Chest X-ray displays how far the infection has spread.
- Pulse oximetry to get an idea of oxygen concentration in the blood.
- Sputum test to check the fluid present in the lungs.
- Bronchoscopy can also be performed to get further information if needed.
Also Read: A Quick Guide To Avoid Common Winter Ailments In Children
Complications associated with pneumonia
- Bacteremia: It is a condition in which the bacteria spreads into the blood causing septic shock and organ failure.
- Breathing problem: In severe cases of infection a person might need a machine while the lungs heal.
- Fluid\Mucus: Gets accumulated between the layers of tissue causing infection.
- Lung abscess: It is a condition in which pus is formed inside the lungs
Treatment For Pneumonia
Pneumonia treatment depends on its cause.
- Bacterial infection can be treated with antibiotics.
- Pneumonia is caused due to viral infection which can be cured by taking rest and consuming plenty of water. Antiviral medications can also be useful.
- Fungal type of pneumonia is cured with antifungal medication.
To treat other complimentary symptoms such as fever, aches, and pain, doctors may prescribe over-the-counter(OTC) medicines.
In addition, it is recommended to rest and drink plenty of water to thin out thick mucus.
- Preventing pneumonia is essential as it affects mostly infants below 5 years.
- Adequate nutrition helps in improving the immune system in children.
- Vaccinations provide immunity against Hib, pneumococcus, measles and whooping cough (pertussis).
- WHO and UNICEF integrated a program Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhea(GAPPD) that aims to protect, prevent, and treat pneumonia.
- Protect infants from pneumonia by promoting breastfeeding and additional complementary feeding.
- Prevent pneumonia through vaccination, HIV prevention, cotrimoxazole prophylaxis for HIV-infected children.
- Treat pneumonia with care, making sure that every child should get the right kind of treatment.
The cost involved in the treatment of pneumonia was $424.8-$433.4 for outpatient visits, $1119.5-$1134.3 for emergency department cases, and $10822.8-$11102.2 for hospitalization.
Developing and implementing new pneumococcal vaccines and other preventive measures are needed to accelerate preventive measures from pneumonia.
Tags: pneumonia treatment, pneumonia causes, pneumonia prevention, pneumonia types
Henry holds a diploma in Linguistics and is fluent in both, written and verbal Spanish. He is an avid reader and loves to stay updated about the healthcare industry. If you are reading about any major breakthrough in the medical field, know that Henry is the one who brought it to you.