Pneumonia Can Be Fatal
When you acquire pneumonia, it could affect only one lung, both lungs, or spread from one to the other. It causes the air sacs in your lungs, also called alveoli, to become inflamed. This is what makes it difficult to breathe. Doctors typically treat pneumonia with antibiotics, but it remains the leading cause of infectious disease death in children under age five across the world. As with the flu, pneumonia can also be deadly for elderly people.
Smokers and those with asthma have a greater likelihood of catching all different strains of the disease. However, bacterial infection is the most common cause among adults in the United States.
How Can One Catch The Covid Virus
In the study, the researchers quantified how the different influences on transmission change an individual’s risk of getting sick: viral factors , people factors , and air-quality factors .
The study looked at how many people became infected in superspreader events where key parameters, such as the room size, room occupancy, and ventilation levels, were well-documented and by representing how transmission happens with a mathematical model.
Is Pneumonia Treated Any Differently In Children
Essentially no. Just like adults, bacterial causes of pneumonia in children may be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are not used to treat pneumonia caused by viruses. Flu-related pneumonia may be treated with antiviral medicine if caught early in the course of illness. Most cases of pneumonia are treated with comfort care measures that ease symptoms. These may include:
- Drinking more fluids.
- Getting more rest.
- Taking over-the-counter medicines for cough and acetaminophen for fever. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about giving medicines to your child.
- Using a cool mist humidifier in your childs room.
Read Also: How Do You Get Double Pneumonia
What Are The Common Causes Of Pneumonia For Older Adults
Pneumonia is typically caused by bacteria or viruses. These germs are breathed into your lungs. When your immune system is strong you may be able to quickly fight these germs off.
The elderly may be more likely to have the germs cause an infection in their lungs due to weakened immune systems.
Even if they are usually healthy and fit, they can get pneumonia after you have caught a simple cold or flu. They may even catch pneumonia from being in the hospital.
The causes of pneumonia are broken down into three groups:
How Common Is Pneumonia
Approximately 1 million adults in the United States are hospitalized each year for pneumonia and 50,000 die from the disease. It is the second most common reason for being admitted to the hospital — childbirth is number one. Pneumonia is the most common reason children are admitted to the hospital in the United States. Seniors who are hospitalized for pneumonia face a higher risk of death compared to any of the top 10 other reasons for hospitalization.
Don’t Miss: Can You Drink Alcohol After Pneumonia Shot
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- I have a chronic condition. Am I at higher risk for pneumonia?
- Do I have bacterial, viral, or fungal pneumonia? Whats the best treatment?
- Am I contagious?
- How serious is my pneumonia? Will I need to be hospitalized?
- What can I do at home to help relieve my symptoms?
- What are the possible complications of pneumonia? How will I know if Im developing complications?
- What should I do if my symptoms dont respond to treatment or get worse?
- Do we need to schedule a follow-up exam?
- Do I need any vaccines?
Is Bacterial Pneumonia Contagious
Whether or not bacterial pneumonia is contagious depends upon the type of bacteria causing the infection. In many cases, people contract pneumonia when bacteria they normally carry in the nose or throat are spread to the lungs. Most kinds of bacterial pneumonia are not highly contagious. However, pneumonia due to Mycoplasma pneumoniae and tuberculosis are exceptions. Both these types of bacterial pneumonia are highly contagious. These are spread among people by breathing in infected droplets that come from coughing or sneezing, similar to the spread of viral infections.
Recommended Reading: Stage 4 Lung Cancer And Pneumonia
What Can I Do To Feel Better If I Have Pneumonia
- Finish all medications and therapies prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking antibiotics when you start feeling better. Continue taking them until no pills remain. If you dont take all your antibiotics, your pneumonia may come back.
- If over-the-counter medicines to reduce fever have been recommended , take as directed on the label. Never give aspirin to children.
- Drink plenty of fluids to help loosen phlegm.
- Quit smoking if you smoke. Dont be around others who smoke or vape. Surround yourself with as much clean, chemical-free air as possible.
- Use a humidifier, take a steamy shower or bath to make it easier for you to breathe.
- Get lots of rest. Dont rush your recovery. It can take weeks to get your full strength back.
If at any time you start to feel worse, call your doctor right away.
Cover Your Mouth And Nose
While the preferred method for covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze is into a tissue, not everyone can get to tissues in time when the urge to cough or sneeze hits. If you have the urge to cough or sneezeand a tissue isnt availablethe next best thing is to cover your mouth or nose with the inside of your elbow.
Coughing or sneezing into your elbow will decrease the chances of your leaving traces of your infection on door handles, faucets, or anything else you touch.
Recommended Reading: Over The Counter Medicine For Pneumonia
How Is Pneumonia Spread
The viruses and bacteria that cause pneumonia usually spread in small droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes into the air. If you are nearby, you can breathe in these droplets or they can land in your nose or mouth. You can also pick up germs that cause pneumonia by shaking hands or touching contaminated surfaces, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
What Is Viral Pneumonia
Viruses are responsible for about one-third of all pneumonias, and they’re the most common cause of pneumonia in children younger than age 5.
Viral pneumonias tend to clear up in about one to three weeks, but they can increase your risk for bacterial pneumonia.
Viral pneumonia is usually less serious than bacterial pneumonia.
At first, the symptoms of viral pneumonia may be similar to symptoms often associated with the flu, except you may experience a dry cough that does not produce phlegm. You may also develop a fever and headache.
But within a couple of days, these symptoms typically get worse.
Adults with viral pneumonia can also expect to develop:
- Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle pain
The flu virus is the most common cause of viral pneumonia in adults, which tends to be more serious in people with heart or lung disease, senior citizens, and pregnant women.
Respiratory syncytial virus pneumonia is usually a mild infection that clears up in about a week or two. It can be more severe and is more common in young children and older adults. In fact, RSV is the most common cause of pneumonia in children younger than 12 months.
Also Check: What Are The Signs Of Pneumonia
How Do You Get Pneumonia
Have you ever been told to bundle up to avoid catching pneumonia? Or told a friend or family member not to walk outside with wet hair because he or she could get it? It might surprise you to find out that neither cold weather nor wet hair can cause you to catch pneumonia. In fact, pneumonia in itself isnt contagious, so you cant really catch it at all.
If you are wondering how do you get pneumonia, or have any other questions about this condition, FastMed can help. We are open 365 days a year to provide treatment for non-life-threatening illness and injuries, as well as ready to answer all of your health related questions.
Which Antibiotics Are Needed To Treat Nosocomial Pneumonia
Generally, patients are immediately given an antibiotic that is known to be effective against possible hospital germs. But these are not always effective against multi-resistant . In that case, “reserve” antibiotics are used. They are the only antibiotics that are still effective against those germs. Usually, combinations of different antibiotics are used.
Before starting treatment, blood samples or phlegm are sent to a laboratory. An antibiotic that is highly likely to be effective is then given immediately. At the same time, the tests in the laboratory find out exactly which germs are the cause. Once that is known, the antibiotic therapy is adjusted if necessary.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Pneumonia From Laying In Bed
Who Is Most At Risk For Getting Pneumonia
People who have an increased risk of pneumonia include:
- People over the age of 65 and infants under age 2. The weakening immune system of older people makes them less able to fight off illnesses. Similarly, the immune system of infants is still developing and not at full-strength, making them more susceptible to infection.
- People with a health-caused weakened immune system. Examples include:
- People who are receiving chemotherapy
- Transplanted organ recipients
- People who have HIV/AIDS
- People with autoimmune disease and who are taking medications that suppress the immune system.
Pneumonia Symptoms In Elders
Pneumonia is an infection of your lungs. There can be swelling or fluid in the air sacs. This can cause trouble with breathing as well as affect energy levels and overall health.
If your loved one is sick, the signs of pneumonia include:
Also Check: How Long For Lungs To Heal After Pneumonia
Where And How You Are Most Likely To Catch Covid
So, how does one increase the chance of catching the COVID-19 virus? Expert says it is when a person does a combination of things mentioned below:
Now, that you already know about how you can catch the deadly coronavirus, here are some of the ways you can avoid catching COVID:
While the above-mentioned pointers give an estimated figure for each situation, the actual risk will depend on the specific parameters, such as exactly how many people are in a room of what size. what kind of mask you are wearing, what you are touching and then not washing your hands properly/sanitizing properly, etc. Therefore, the key to staying safe from the deadly virus attack is by being mindful of the activities you are doing during the pandemic days.
How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Pneumonia in older adults can be difficult to diagnose. Your doctor will first request your medical history in which you may be asked things such as:
- your symptoms
- medications or supplements that youre taking
- your smoking history
- whether youve received your pneumococcal or influenza vaccinations
Your doctor will then perform a physical examination. Theyll check vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels. They may also use a stethoscope to listen for crackling sounds in your lungs.
In order to make a diagnosis, your doctor may also order the following:
- Blood tests. These tests involve taking a blood sample from a vein in your arm. The results can help indicate the presence of an infection.
- Imaging. Your doctor order imaging technology such as X-ray or CT scan to visualize your chest and lungs.
- Culture. Cultures can be taken from sputum or pleural fluid to help determine what type of germ may be causing your infection.
- Pulse oximetry. Pneumonia can affect the amount of oxygen that you can take in. This test measures the amount of oxygen in your blood.
Don’t Miss: How Long Does Pneumonia Usually Last
Limit Contact With Others
One of the best things you can do when recovering from pneumonia is to limit your contact with others. As weve learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemicwhich can cause viral pneumoniastaying at least six feet away from others reduces the amount of viral or bacterial content they are exposed to as you breathe or talk.
Things That You Can Do To Help Your Child At Home Are
- Control the fever with the proper medicine and right strength for the age of your child. Fevers lower than 101° F do not need to be treated unless the child is uncomfortable .
- Give your child plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- See that your child gets lots of rest.
- Do not give over-the-counter cough medicines or other OTC medicines without asking the health provider first. The child needs to cough and bring up the phlegm. Coughing is the bodys way of clearing the infection from the lungs.
- Avoid exposing your child to tobacco smoke or other irritants in the air.
Recommended Reading: Is Pneumonia Contagious In Humans
Treatment And Medication Options For Pneumonia
A lot of treatment aspects, as well as outcome, depend on the person, as well as the type of pneumonia they have, says Dr. Barron. Sometimes youll be fine just resting, but if you have things like trouble breathing, you should get to a doctor right away.
Your doctor will outline a plan that’s specific to you, considering the type of pneumonia you have, the severity of the condition, your age, and your overall health. From there, you’ll know whether you can be treated at home or need to go to the hospital, and whether you require antibiotics.
Are There Treatments For Covid
Clinical trials are looking into whether some drugs and treatments used for other conditions might treat severe COVID-19 or related pneumonia, including dexamethasone, a corticosteroid.
The FDA has approved the antiviral remdesivir for treatment of patients hospitalized with COVID. The drug was origininally developed to treat the Ebola virus.
Don’t Miss: Are Pneumonia Vaccines Covered By Medicare
What Is Bacterial Pneumonia
Bacteria are the most common cause of pneumonia in adults.
Types of bacteria that cause pneumonia include:
- Streptococcus pneumoniae
- Chlamydophila pneumoniae
- Haemophilus influenzae type B
Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus, is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in adults, called pneumococcal pneumonia.
It may be prevented by a vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two pneumonia vaccines for adults 65 years and older: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, or Prevnar 13 , and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, or Pneumovax 23 .
According to the CDC:
- You should receive a dose of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine first, followed at least one year later by a dose of the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine .
- If you’ve already received any doses of PPSV23, the dose of PCV13 should be given at least one year after the most recent PPSV23 dose.
- If you’ve already received a dose of the PCV13 at a younger age, another dose is not recommended.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae usually infects younger adults who work in crowded areas, such as schools, homeless shelters, or prisons.
Chlamydophila pneumoniae causes a mild pneumonia infection that usually affects people older than 60.
Other bacterial pneumonia symptoms include:
- High fever
- Sore throat