When To Get Medical Advice
You dont get better in the first 2 days of treatment
Fever of 100.4°F or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider
Cough with phlegm that doesn’t get better, or get worse
Shortness of breath with activities
Weakness, dizziness, or fainting that gets worse
Thirst or dry mouth that gets worse
Sinus pain, headache, or a stiff neck
Chest pain with breathing or coughing
Symptoms that get worse or not improving
Follow Your Treatment Plan
It is important that you take all your medicines as prescribed. If you are using antibiotics, continue to take the medicine until it is all gone. You may start to feel better before you finish the medicine, but you should continue to take it. If you stop too soon, the bacterial infection and your pneumonia may come back. The pneumonia may also become resistant to the antibiotic, making treatment more difficult.
What Does Pneumonia Feel Like
Not everyone feels the same when they have pneumonia, but there arecore signs you can look out for, such as feeling like you’re out of breath,generally feeling tired or sleepy and sharp, stabbing chest pain. Note, however,that “walking pneumonia” might not have obvious symptoms or justsymptoms of a common cold.
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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.
When Complications Occur
There are, however, some people whose immune systems will not be able to respond as quickly and the virus will continue to spread after this stage. These are people who are immunocompromised or have underlying health conditions.
As the virus duplicates and infects more cells in these peoples bodies, it works its way down the airways towards the lungs. Here it invades the cells in the lungs, making it hard for the lungs to do their job of taking in oxygen and removing carbon dioxide. Therefore, your lungs end up working harder and you will feel short of breath.
This is why coronavirus is associated with breathing difficulties because the cells responsible for our breathing functions are impaired.
People feel their chest tightening they are unable to get out of bed as the body needs to conserve energy and general aches and pains take hold as the body diverts all energy resources to fighting the infection.
As the COVID-19 virus attacks more and more parts of the lungs, they become inflamed and can start to fill with fluid and pus you then have pneumonia.
If the lungs swell further and fill with more fluid, the patient may need a ventilator and, sadly, there is a risk of death if the lungs give up altogether.
Some people have reported diarrhoea as one of their symptoms and that is because the Covid-19 virus may be able to get from your nasal passageways and travel as far as your gut, causing problems there too. Even people with mild symptoms may experience diarrhoea.
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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.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Pneumonia
“Pneumonia is a serious illness that can take quite a toll on a person’s lungs and body. It can take anywhere from a week to several months to fully recover from it,” says Dr. Rayman Lee, pulmonologist at Houston Methodist.
The length of time it takes for you to recover from pneumonia is influenced by:
- Your age
- The severity of your illness
- Whether you have other health conditions
- The type of pneumonia
If you’re generally healthy and have only a mild case of pneumonia, your symptoms should begin to improve one to two days after starting treatment.
“Most people with mild pneumonia are able to return to their everyday activities in a week, although fatigue and cough can linger for an entire month,” says Dr. Lee.
Recovery timelines become more murky for people who have severe pneumonia.
“For more serious cases that require hospitalization, we’re not only focused on clearing the infection, we’re also focused on preventing or treating complications that can develop including difficulty breathing, fluid buildup in the lungs, sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome and lung abscesses,” warns Dr. Lee.
Pneumonia and its complications can wreak havoc on a person’s lungs and body. And, it can take anywhere from one to six months for a person to recover and regain strength after being hospitalized for pneumonia.
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How Do The Lungs Work
Your lungs main job is to get oxygen into your blood and remove carbon dioxide. This happens during breathing. You breathe 12 to 20 times per minute when you are not sick. When you breathe in, air travels down the back of your throat and passes through your voice box and into your windpipe . Your trachea splits into two air passages . One bronchial tube leads to the left lung, the other to the right lung. For the lungs to perform their best, the airways need to be open as you breathe in and out. Swelling and mucus can make it harder to move air through the airways, making it harder to breathe. This leads to shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and feeling more tired than normal.
What Is The Pneumonia Vaccine
The pneumonia vaccine is an injection that prevents you from contracting pneumococcal disease. There are two pneumococcal vaccines licensed by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States:
The Center for Disease Control recommends the PCV13 vaccine for:
- All children younger than 2 years old
- People 2 years or older with certain medical conditions
The CDC recommends PPSV23 for:
- All adults 65 years or older
- People 2 through 64 years old with certain medical conditions
- Smokers 19 through 64 years old
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More Severe Cases May Also Cause:
- quick breathing
- rapid heartbeat
- nausea and vomiting
Some people get a sharp pain in their chest when they breathe in and out. This may be because the thin lining between the lung and ribcage, called the pleura, is infected and inflamed. This inflammation, called pleurisy, stops your lungs moving smoothly as you breathe.
The symptoms of pneumonia are often very similar to those of other chest infections, such as bronchitis, COPD flare-ups or bronchiectasis flare-ups. To get a proper diagnosis youll need to visit your GP.
If you feel unwell with these symptoms, see your GP or call 111. If you have chest pain, a rapid heartbeat, quick breathing, shivers or confusion, get urgent advice from your GP or call 999. Take extra care if youre over 65.
Questions About Your Symptoms
Bacterial pneumonia, which is the most common form, tends to be more serious than other types of pneumonia, with symptoms that require medical care. The symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can develop gradually or suddenly. Fever may rise as high as a dangerous 105 degrees F, with profuse sweating and rapidly increased breathing and pulse rate. Lips and nailbeds may have a bluish color due to lack of oxygen in the blood. A patient’s mental state may be confused or delirious.
The symptoms of viral pneumonia usually develop over a period of several days. Early symptoms are similar to influenza symptoms: fever, a dry cough, headache, muscle pain, and weakness. Within a day or two, the symptoms typically get worse, with increasing cough, shortness of breath and muscle pain. There may be a high fever and there may be blueness of the lips.
Symptoms may vary in certain populations. Newborns and infants may not show any signs of the infection. Or, they may vomit, have a fever and cough, or appear restless, sick, or tired and without energy. Older adults and people who have serious illnesses or weak immune systems may have fewer and milder symptoms. They may even have a lower than normal temperature. Older adults who have pneumonia sometimes have sudden changes in mental awareness. For individuals that already have a chronic lung disease, those symptoms may worsen.
When to call a doctor
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What Is Walking Pneumonia
- Lung Health and Diseases
“Walking pneumonia” is a non-medical term for a mild case of pneumonia. Technically, it’s called atypical pneumonia and is caused by bacteria or viruses often a common bacterium called Mycoplasma pneumonia. Bed rest or hospitalization are usually not needed, and symptoms can be mild enough that you can continue about your daily activities, hence the term “walking.”
But don’t be fooled. Walking pneumonia can still make you miserable, with cough, fever, chest pain, mild chills, headache, etc. It feels more akin to a bad cold, and despite what the term “walking” implies, taking care of yourself is the best path to recovery.
“If you have the symptoms listed above, even if mild, you should see a doctor as soon as possible,” says Dr. Albert Rizzo, senior medical advisor to the American Lung Association. Rizzo notes that walking pneumonia is treatable with antibiotics if your doctor believes bacteria to be the cause. Over-the-counter medications can also be used to relieve symptoms, such as antihistamines for nasal congestion or cough medications to help ease the cough and loosen any mucus . “In addition, it’s important to get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids and take fever-reducing medicine if you have a fever,” he adds.
Just like typical pneumonia, walking pneumonia spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. To reduce your risk of infection, follow these tips and learn more about avoiding pneumonia:
How Can I Prevent Pneumonia
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccination for:
Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination for:
If you have been experiencing pneumonia symptoms, make an appointmentwith your provider today. Prompt treatment of pneumonia isimportant for recovery. Requestan appointment with a family medicine provider to receive your flu andpneumococcal vaccinations.
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Tips For Regaining Your Strength After Severe Pneumonia
- Get plenty of rest
- Slowly start moving around once you’re ready but don’t overdo it
- Complete any treatments prescribed by your doctor
- Eat a nutritious diet
- Quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke
- Limit exposure to throat irritants, including pollution and alcohol
- Perform deep breathing exercises
- Consult with your doctor before returning to exercise
Aim to slowly work back into your usual routine and be sure to take note of any signs that the infection may be coming back.
“Pneumonia can be incredibly taxing and there’s no one-size-fits-all to recovery. Some people feel better in about six weeks, but it can take several months for others to feel better after severe pneumonia,” adds Dr. Lee. “Most importantly, be patient with your body.”
If your recovery is prolonged, a specialized program focused on pulmonary rehabilitation may help get you back on track.
How Is It Treated
Antibiotics are the usual treatment, because the organism may not be found. But if the pneumonia is caused by a virus, antivirals may be given. Sometimes, antibiotics may be used to prevent complications.
Antibiotics usually cure pneumonia caused by bacteria. Be sure to take the antibiotics exactly as instructed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
Pneumonia can make you feel very sick. But after you take antibiotics, you should start to feel much better, although you will probably not be back to normal for several weeks. Call your doctor if you do not start to feel better after 2 to 3 days of antibiotics. Call your doctor right away if you feel worse.
There are things you can do to feel better during your treatment. Get plenty of rest and sleep, and drink lots of liquids. Do not smoke. If your cough keeps you awake at night, talk to your doctor about using cough medicine.
You may need to go to the hospital if you have bad symptoms, a weak immune system, or another serious illness.
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Doctors Note: What Does Having The Coronavirus Feel Like
A doctor explains how COVID-19 attacks the body and why it can make us feel so awful.
When Dr Clare Gerada, a 60-year-old general practitioner and former chair of the Royal College of GPs in the UK, recently caught coronavirus, she said it was the worst I have ever felt and worse than childbirth.
Thankfully Dr Gerada is making a full recovery but hearing first-hand what it is like to have the illness got me thinking about how the virus attacks the body and why it makes us feel so bad.
Why do we get a fever and cough? Where does the sore throat come from and why do some people suffer from diarrhoea? To understand this, we need to understand how the virus takes control of our bodies.
COVID-19 is like all other viruses in that it needs a host in this case the human body to help it to reproduce and spread. A virus is basically a piece of genetic material that cannot do much on its own. It has to invade the body of a living creature in order to reproduce without this it will die.
A virus is not the same as a bacteria, in that it does not need to eat, drink, excrete waste or rest. It has only one job and that is to reproduce by duplicating itself, but it can only do that once it has found a suitable host.
All types of coronavirus can be transmitted from animals to people a characteristic known as being zoonotic. COVID-19 is thought to have originated in a wildlife market in China.
How To Regain Strength After Pneumonia
If you have pneumonia, the first priority is clearing the infection causing it.
This means following your doctor’s treatment plan very closely. Yes, getting plenty of rest. And, yes, taking every single pill in the bottle of antibiotics your doctor prescribed you if your pneumonia is bacterial in nature.
But, even after your primary symptoms fade away, you may be left feeling lousy, with low energy and/or dealing with a cough that just won’t quit. In some cases, you may feel weak for months.
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