disease, the common cold, flu

Pneumonia Symptoms and Treatment? Get A Vaccine!

Overview

Pneumonia is the common infection of lungs, affecting the microscopic air sacs viz. alveoli.

The function of the Lungs is to exchange the gases namely oxygen and carbon dioxide between body and the Environment. 

In People with Pneumonia, there is hindering of gas exchange process as their air sacs are filled with fluid or pus.

Definition

Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation in the air sacs of  lungs and results in fluid build up in the chest and causes fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing.

disease, the common cold, flu

In Pneumonia air sacs of either lungs or both are filled with pus resulting in cough, difficulty breathing, chills and fever. It is caused by variety of organism, they are namely fungi, viruses, parasites which causes Pneumonia depending on which type it is of.

Also read How to manage your Asthma never like before here

Symptoms of Pneumonia

Symptoms can vary from person to person. Below are the most common symptoms

    •         Confusion/ Malaise
    •         Diarrhea
    •         Chest pain
    •         Tachycardia
    •         fever & Chills
    •         Coughing
    •         Dyspnea
    •         Shortness of breath
    •         Cyanosis
    •         Fatigue
    •         Loss of appetite
    •         Vomiting

These are just the most common ones. Many other sign and symptoms for Pneumonia do exists

Risk Factor

  •         Older than 65+ years
  •         Infants less than 2
  •         Malnourished
  •         Smoker
  •         Immune Compromised
  •         COPD
  •         Difficulty swallowing
  •         Stroke
  •         Recent respiratory infection
  •         If Hospitalized

Lobar Pneumonia

All or a large part of a pulmonary lobe are affected or involved

Bronchopneumonia

This begins in terminal bronchioles, and then it is scattered in air sacs throughout the lungs

Interstitial Pneumonia

Walls of the alveoli are called as Interstitium. This particular type will affect the walls of alveoli (Interstitium)

Types of Pneumonia

Pneumonia types, Pneumonia vaccine

1. Community Acquired Pneumonia

It is a type of Pneumonia when a patient gets infected outside the Hospital. It might be due to the Pneumonia causing Pneumonia that you came across in home, park or some Public area.

2. Hospital Acquired Pneumonia

It is acquired when a patient is hospitalized and stays there for more than 2 days. Subjects with this type are at greater risk and even maybe fatal. As being hospitalized, people have less immunity and are more prone to bacteria and viruses.

Aspiration Pneumonia

This type is acquired when the subject aspires bacteria into lungs, usually from food, stomach acid or saliva

Ventilator Associated Pneumonia

As the name suggests, it is found in people while the patient is on a mechanical ventilator (breathing machine). Hospitalized patients with ongoing treatment in ICU are already on risk of dying due  to their severe illness. In addition to that, if they acquire VAP, chances are more of dying from secondary processes such as nosocomial infection.

Diagnosis of Pneumonia

It is mostly diagnosed by taking look at chest X-Ray of a patient which will show sign of consolidation. The patient’s breath sound via stethoscope will sound like crackles and if you perform a chest percussion, a dull sounding note will be heard.

Micro-Organism Responsible

Bacteria

Streptococcus pneumoniae, Hemophilus influenzae, Chlamydophiala pneumonie, Mycoplasm Influenza

Viruses

Rhino viruses, Corona viruses, Influenza, RSV (found in infants)

Fungi

Candida, Aspergillus, Pneumocystis, Jiroveci

Parasites

Stercoralis, Toxoplasma gondii

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Is Pneumonia contagious?

Yes, Pneumonia can be contagious! But relax, not all types of Pneumonia are contagious. When caused by bacteria and viruses, it can be contagious when disease causing microorganism are inhaled into lungs.

However, Pneumonia caused by fungi are not contagious. Reason is, fungi dwell in soil and hence does not infect when it is airborne and inhaled.

Infants less than 2 years and our Elderly family member should get vaccinated if symptoms are diagnosed. As their immune system is weak, added antibodies protect them to fight pneumonia. 

Commonly there are two types of Pneumonia vaccine that protect from various types of this disease

This vaccine will help the subjects at preventing severe pneumococcal disease. However, this vaccine will not prevent from all the infection but can save a patient from getting hospitalized And become more deadly.

PCV13 (Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine)

Adults who require this vaccine only gets 1 shot however Doctors suggest this vaccine to children from years 2, 4, 6and 12.

 PCV13 protect people from 13 of the most severe types of bacteria that cause serious infection in children and adults.

PPSV23 (Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine)

These are given in single shot to the people who need it. Doctors can give multiple shot of PPSV23 if patient condition is more chronic.

This vaccine is strong enough to protect against 23 types of pneumonia bacteria. Neither can prevent every type of pneumonia, but they aid the patient by  working against more than 30 common, severe types.

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