Of all infectious disorders, Pneumonia accounts for 18.3% of deaths in children aged younger than five years. This makes it the single most considerable 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 three years and people older than age 65 are affected mainly by such infection because of weak metabolism.
It 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. Unfortunately, one can also get attacked by such an infectious disease unknowingly, and doctors call this walking Pneumonia.
What are the early warning signs of Pneumonia?
The symptoms can vary in case of Pneumonia, highly depending upon the cause (the type of infection attacked). This disease mainly starts with cold and flu. The symptoms of Pneumonia can range from being mild to severe depending upon the severity of the infection.
- 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 diarrhea
- Trouble breathing
- Shaking chills
- Fast heartbeat
- Muscle pain
One should not delay getting the necessary pneumonia treatment for such symptoms; consult your general physician before the health condition worsens.
What causes Pneumonia?
A variety of bacteria can cause Pneumonia. Bacteria and viruses found in the air we breathe are the most common causes of such an infectious disease. These viruses are generally prevented from invading your lungs by your body. However, even if your health is ordinarily strong, these viruses can occasionally overwhelm your immune system. Infection through bacteria, viruses, or fungi causes Pneumonia such as:
- Streptococcus pneumonia
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Pneumocystis jiroveci is a common cause in HIV- infected infants.
- Flu viruses
- Cold viruses
- RSV virus
- Mycoplasma pneumonia
Also read: All You Need To Know About Infectious Diseases
How does a doctor diagnose Pneumonia?
The symptoms of such a disease can be initially diagnosed by inspecting the breathing process.
It is a lung infection that causes breathing problems and, therefore, can be diagnosed initially by checking the breathing rate.
To understand the intensity of infection, the doctor may suggest undergoing specific diagnostic tests like:
- Blood Tests for the sign of bacterial infection.
- Chest X-ray displays how far the disease 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.
What are the consequences of Pneumonia?
Despite treatment, some persons with such infectious disease, particularly those in high-risk categories, may develop the following complications if one does not get treated in time.
- Bacteremia: Bacteremia 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 medical condition in which pus is formed inside the lungs
What is the treatment for Pneumonia?
If your Pneumonia proves to be severe enough to require hospital care. In that case, you may get intravenous fluids and antibiotics and oxygen therapy and other breathing treatments. On the other hand, mild cases of the disease may typically be treated at home with rest, antibiotics (if the cause is likely to be a bacterial infection), and lots of fluids. Severe instances may necessitate hospitalization.
Pneumonia treatment depends on its cause.
- Bacterial infection can be treated with antibiotics, such as Mahaflox CX Tablet.
- It can be caused due to viral infections, which can be cured by taking a rest and consuming plenty of water. Antiviral medications can also be helpful.
- Fungal type of pneumonia is cured with antifungal medication, such as Candid Cream 15gm.
To treat other complimentary symptoms such as fever, aches, and pain, doctors may prescribe over-the-counter(OTC) medicines, such as Brufen 200 Mg.
In addition, it is recommended to rest and drink plenty of water to thin out thick mucus.
How Can We Prevent Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is generally avoidable and can be treated. Vaccines and other healthy living habits can help reduce your risk of this disease. Preventing pneumonia is essential as it affects infants below five years primarily. In addition, adequate nutrition helps in improving the weakened immune systems in children.
Vaccinations provide immunity against Hib, pneumococcus, measles, and whooping cough (pertussis).
WHO and UNICEF integrated a program called 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, and cotrimoxazole prophylaxis for HIV-infected children.
Treat Pneumonia with care, making sure that every child should get the right kind of treatment.
Pneumonia usually occurs due to bacterial, viral, or fungal infections of the lungs. As a direct result of the immune system’s reaction to the infection, the air sacs in the lungs fill up with pus and fluids. The infection’s cause determines how it’s treated. Antibiotics, antiviral drugs, and antifungal drugs can help treat such an infectious disease.
Pneumonia usually resolves in a few weeks. However, if your symptoms worsen, call your doctor immediately away; then you may need to be admitted to the hospital to avoid or treat more severe consequences.