SYMPTOMS OF PNEUMONIA
Pneumonia is a health condition in which the alveoli (the air sac) in the lung is infected by viruses, bacteria, or fungi, thus leading to breathing difficulty.
Spread of pneumonia
Virus and bacteria pneumonia can’t be contracted by inhaling droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person. Or by contact with surfaces or objects that are already contaminated with the pneumonia disease or virus.
Whereas, fungi pneumonia can not be contracted from an infected person but can only be contracted from the environment.
Symptoms of pneumonia
• Gasping for breath
• Loss of appetite
• Chest pain
Symptoms of pneumonia can start mildly but gradually escalates to life-threatening.
Organisms that cause Pneumonia
Bacteria pneumonia: a bacteria causing organism is streptococcus pneumonia
Viral pneumonia: viruses are the most common causes of pneumonia. E.g rhinovirus, influenza (flu). Unlike other forms of pneumonia, viral pneumonia is mild and can improve even without treatment.
Fungi pneumonia: when a person’s immune system is weak, that is when a person can get this form of pneumonia as it comes from droppings from the environment.
Is pneumonia preventable?
Yes! Pneumonia can be prevented using vaccines. Here are some vaccines and the forms of pneumonia that they help to prevent:
• Hib vaccine: This vaccine fights against pneumonia and meningitis causing bacteria called Haemophilus influenza type (Hib). This vaccine is recommended for: children below 5years, children and adults who have not taken the vaccine, patients who took a bone marrow transplant.
• Pneumovax 23 and prevnar 13: both vaccines help to fight against meningitis and pneumonia which is caused by pneumococcal bacteria.
• Flu vaccine:
Other preventive measures include:
• Maintain good hygiene.
• Get enough rest.
• Exercise always.
• Avoid smoking.
• Eat good food
• Properly dispose of or wash items used for coughing or sneezing.
Granted pneumonia vaccines do not eradicate all cases of pneumonia but with it, a person is likely to have mild and less complicated pneumonia.
Diagnosis: pneumonia can be diagnosed by the doctor in the following ways:
• Physical examination: This involves the use of a stethoscope to listen to the sound from the lungs
• Blood culture: This involves the use of blood to identify and confirm what could be the cause of pneumonia.
• Chest X-ray: This test is conducted to help identify inflammations in the lung and if any, the exact location of the inflammation.
• Bronchoscopy: This test is conducted to see the airways in your lungs. This test is done if you symptoms are severe and you are not responding to treatment
• Sputum culture: This test is done by collect mucus from you after you cough and sending it to the lab to check for the cause of the infection.
• CT scan: This scan gives an obvious detailed picture of your lungs.
• Pulse oximetry: This test measures the quantity and movement of oxygen in the blood.
Is pneumonia the same thing as bronchitis?
No! Pneumonia is an inflammation in the lung while bronchitis is an inflammation in the bronchial tube.
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