What Other Disease/condition Shares Some Of These Symptoms
Pneumonia is often diagnosed clinically without the utilization of a chest radiograph . If symptoms resolve as expected, a follow-up CXR may not be obtained even if there was an initial CXR at the time of diagnosis. For the child with recurrent chest symptoms, lack of serial CXRs can make distinguishing recurrent from persistent pneumonia challenging.
If the radiographic abnormality is persistent, particularly in a specific area of the lung, a congenital anomaly or airway obstruction is more likely than if the abnormalities come and go and are found in different regions of the lung. Therefore, the evaluation of persistent may be different than for truly recurrent pneumonia.
Common cause of recurrent pneumonia #2: Immunodeficiency. When the infections are limited to the upper and lower airways, the deficiency is usually a B-cell or partial B-cell deficiency. If the recurrent pneumonias are associated with significant infections outside the respiratory tract, the deficiency is usually T-cell or possibly neutrophil dysfunction. A clue that immunodeficiency may be the underlying cause is when the isolated organisms are opportunistic and may not occur in the immunocompetent host. Intravenous immunoglobulin infusion may help minimize the pneumonias if hypogammaglobulinemia is present.
What Is The Outlook For Pneumonia
If you are well enough to be looked after at home, your outlook is very good. Less than 1 person in 100 will die as a result of pneumonia. Those who die tend to be people who are older, or those who also have other health problems.
If you need to be looked after in hospital, the outlook is not quite so good. 5-10 people in 100 admitted with pneumonia to an ordinary ward rather than an intensive care unit may die. Again, these will usually be people who were unwell before they had pneumonia, or the elderly. For people who need to have a tube put into their windpipe to help them breathe, the death rate rises to 1 in 4.
If the pneumonia is very severe, or caused by an aggressive type of germ , such as legionella, you may need to be moved to an intensive care unit in the hospital. In these cases the outlook is much worse. Unfortunately, as many as half of these people may die.
If you are normally well but then develop repeated bouts of pneumonia, it may be the first sign of a problem of your lung or immune system. Some tests of your immune system may be advised if pneumonia happens again for no apparent reason.
Who Is At Higher Risk Of Developing Serious Illness From Covid
People who are at a higher risk of developing severe illness due to COVID-19 include those who:
- Are older
- Have underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer
- Are immunocompromised due to conditions such as diabetes, cancer, or HIV or are on long-term steroid medication
- Have not been vaccinated for COVID-19
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Returning To Everyday Activities
Regardless of whether you could treat your pneumonia at home or you were hospitalized for pneumonia, the best thing you can do is take care of yourself as you recover. Here are some recovery tips:
- Stay home:Be sure you stay home until your fever breaks and your coughing is at least minimal. Staying home and resting not only improves your recovery, it also protects anyone you come into contact with from getting sick.
- Get plenty of rest:Take naps when you need to, and hang low while recovering.
- Drink plenty of fluids:This will help keep your body hydrated as it works to flush out your illness.
- Complete prescription medication: Make sure to complete the full course of any antibiotics, even if youre feeling better.
- Pace yourself:Ease into your typical everyday life.
Pneumonia is a serious infection capable of damaging your lungs. While many people seem to recover from pneumonia fully, its possible your lungs will not be able to return to the same level of activity as before.
This possibility is just one reason why its important to slowly ramp up your activity level as you heal, and practice any breathing techniques your healthcare provider may recommend.
How Many People Develop Pneumonia In Each Region Of The Uk
In 2012, a significantly higher proportion of people developed pneumonia in the East Midlands and the North West of England than in the UK generally.
The proportions were lower in Scotland and considerably lower in the other regions of England, and in Wales and Northern Ireland.
This pattern was seen fairly constantly in the years 200412.
Number of people per 100,000 who developed pneumonia, by UK region, 200412
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How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Pneumonia is an acute respiratory disorder characterized by inflammation and exudative solidification of the lung parenchyma. It fills the alveoli with inflammatory exudates that result in the consolidation of the lungs.
Chest X-ray is normal in the initial stages if the infection is mild. The characteristic feature is a consolidation of the lungs and ground-glass opacities in the lower lobes of both lungs. The gold standard for diagnosis is high resolution computed tomography scan that shows the extent of lung involvement and pleural effusion.
Flu Is The Most Common Cause Of Viral Pneumonia In Adults
Now that we know we are in the midst of a flu epidemic, it is important to be aware of the risk of pneumonia. The flu virus is the most common cause of viral pneumonia in adults and many people can develop pneumonia as their weakened immune systems are fighting flu. This particular pneumonia can be severe and sometimes fatal and is most serious in people who have pre-existing heart or lung disease, or in women who are pregnant.
The viral pneumonia that can develop from the flu virus is only one of dozens of kinds of pneumonia, however. There are many causes of pneumonia, both from viruses and bacteria, as well as from mycoplasma and fungi.
According to the CDC, nearly one million people a year nationwide are hospitalized with pneumonia, which can lead to respiratory failure, sepsis and lung abscess. About 500,000 people die from pneumonia each year.
Many deaths are preventable through vaccination, awareness, healthy behaviors, and early treatment.
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Where Do Children Die From Pneumonia
The map shows the number of child deaths due to pneumonia per 100,000 children per year.
It shows that children are most likely to die from pneumonia across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The deaths in just 5 countries India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia accounted for more than half of all deaths from childhood pneumonia in 2017.
For this reason Kevin Watkins and Devi Sridhar called pneumonia the ultimate disease of poverty in a 2018 comment in the journal The Lancet.5 There is a very strong correlation between a countrys income and the child mortality rate from pneumonia as the scatter plot shows.
Pneumonia is not a disease that easily spreads across borders, its transmission is generally restricted to local communities and it can be controlled if basic health measures are available. The disease is therefore most common in poor places where healthcare infrastructure is lacking and people are least able to afford the treatment.6
Other Clinical Manifestations That Might Help With Diagnosis And Management
If the radiographic abnormalities are persistent rather than recurrent, it is more likely that a structural problem exists. Congenital foregut malformations include: congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation , congenital pulmonary airway malformation , bronchogenic cysts, congenital lobar overdistention, sequestration, and esophageal duplication. Surgical resection is curative. Retained foreign body, endobronchial tumor, or extrinsic airway compression can also lead to persistent pneumonia and are identified at the time of bronchoscopy.
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Number Of People Dying From Pneumonia By Age
In the visualization here we see the global number of deaths from pneumonia3 by age group.
15% of all child deaths in 2017 were caused by pneumonia and it is therefore the leading cause of death of children .
The number of children dying from pneumonia has decreased substantially over the past three decades. In 1990, more than two million children died from pneumonia every year. By 2017, this number had fallen by almost two-thirds.
Improvements in the major risk factors such as childhood wasting, air pollution, and poor sanitation, falling global poverty, and a better availability of health technology such as pneumococcal vaccines and antibiotics have all contributed to this decline.
While the death rate for old people fell slightly, the number of deaths of people who are 70 years and older increased. 1.13 million, who died from pneumonia where in this age group. This is because the number of people who reached the age of 70 increased very strongly globally as we show in our entry on the changing global age structure.
How Long Will It Take Me To Recover From Aspiration Pneumonia
Most people recover from aspiration pneumonia in a week or so with treatment. Although you might be ready to return to work or school, you might still be tired for some time after a week. Many people are still tired up to a month into recovery.
Recurrent aspiration due to underlying medical or neurological conditions can be difficult to treat and needs expert care from a multidisciplinary team.
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What Is Aspiration Pneumonia
Aspiration pneumonia is pneumonia that is caused by something other than air being inhaled into your respiratory tract. These non-air substances can be food, liquid, saliva, stomach contents, toxins or even a small foreign object.
Theres also a condition called aspiration pneumonitis which is caused by the same type of thing happening but there is only inflammation and irritation, not infection. Its difficult to tell the two conditions apart.
Other names for aspiration pneumonia include anaerobic pneumonia, necrotizing pneumonia and aspiration of vomitus.
Path To Improved Health
Pneumococcal vaccines can protect you against getting pneumonia, which is contagious and spreads from close, person-to-person contact. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs and can lead to many symptoms, including:
- chest pains
- bringing up mucus when you cough
For seniors, pneumonia can be very serious and life-threatening. This is especially true if you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes or COPD. Pneumonia can also develop after youve had a case of the flu or a respiratory virus such as COVID-19. It is extremely important to stay current on flu shots each year in addition to your pneumococcal vaccines.
While PPSV23 and PCV13 do not protect against all types of pneumonia, they can make it less likely that you will experience severe and possibly life-threatening complications from the illness.
The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that seniors who have not had either pneumococcal vaccine should get a dose of PCV13 first, and then a dose of PPSV23 6-12 months later. The vaccines cannot be given at the same time. If you have recently had a dose of PPSV23, your doctor will wait at least one year to give you PCV13.
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How Is Pneumonia Treated
Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia you have. Most of the time, pneumonia is treated at home, but severe cases may be treated in the hospital. Antibiotics are used for bacterial pneumonia. Antibiotics may also speed recovery from mycoplasma pneumonia and some special cases. Most viral pneumonias dont have specific treatment. They usually get better on their own.
Other treatment may include eating well, increasing fluid intake, getting rest, oxygen therapy, pain medicine, fever control, and maybe cough-relief medicine if cough is severe.
Can Pneumonia Be Prevented
Immunisation against the pneumococcus and having the annual flu virus immunisation are advised if you are at greater risk of developing these infections.
Cigarette smoke damages the lining of the airways and makes the lungs more prone to infection. So stopping smoking will lessen your risk of developing lung infections.
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What Happens When You Have Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an infection in one or both of your lungs. It causes inflammation and can lead to the alveoli in the lungs filling up with fluid. This in turn makes it difficult for oxygen to reach the blood stream. Symptoms include: fever, chills, wheezing, cough and difficulty breathing, rapid breathing, pain in the chest, and a general feeling of weakness and ill health. Their severity and symptoms do vary depending upon whether the pneumonia is caused by a bacteria or a virus.
The important thing is to seek medical care immediately when pneumonia is suspected.
How Is Aspiration Pneumonia Diagnosed
Generally, the first thing your provider will do in any situation is take a complete medical history and perform a physical examination. Theyll ask you about your current signs and symptoms. One thing that is a little tricky about aspiration pneumonia is that often no one actually sees you breathe in an object or food or saliva.
In addition to taking note of your symptoms, your provider will order tests such as:
- Chest X-ray and/or a computed tomography scan. In cases of aspiration pneumonia, inflammation is often seen at the bottom of your lungs.
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How Can We Reduce The Number Of People Dying From Pneumonia
When we understand what risks can lead to pneumonia, we can find ways to reduce them. Furthermore, because a number of risks factors for pneumonia overlap with risk factors for other diseases, especially diarrheal diseases, interventions that target pneumonia have the additional benefit of helping to limit other diseases and saving more lives.
Vaccines against pneumonia
There are several versions of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine , which target different serotypes of S. pneumoniae the bacterium responsible for most cases of pneumonia.
The PCV vaccine is given to children younger than 24 months. According to a study by Cheryl Cohen et al. , PVC13 the currently recommended PCV vaccine version has 85% effectiveness against invasive infections caused by the specific strains the pneumococcal strainsincluded in the vaccine formulation.13
It has been estimated that if PCV13 coverage in low income countries would reach the coverage of the DTP3 vaccine, then PCV13 could prevent 399,000 child deaths and 54.6 million pneumonia episodes annually when compared with a world in which no pneumococcal vaccination was available.14 India which has the highest number of child deaths from pneumonia only introduced PCV13 in 2017 and the coverage is still very low clearly the pneumococcal vaccine still has a lot of potential.15
Another vaccine widely used to protect children against both pneumonia is the Hib vaccine.
Reducing air pollution
How Common Is Aspiration Pneumonia
Aspiration of food or drink is a relatively common thing. Youve probably heard someone say that food “went down the wrong pipe, meaning that food or drink went toward your lungs instead of your stomach. When this happens, you probably coughed until you felt better.
When the same sort of thing happens to someone who isnt able to cough the food or drink out of their lungs, aspiration pneumonia may result.
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Is Pneumonia Contagious
Since pneumonia is airborneas are the respiratory viruses and bacterial infections that can be the catalyst for the illnessit is indeed highly contagious, cautions Dr. Patel.
“We catch these bacterial or viral infections from the air we breathe through airborne droplets,” explains Dr. Dass. “For instance, someone may sneeze or cough near you without covering their nose or mouth. If someone has not washed their hands, you can also be exposed to their germs. Our bodies will normally do their best to fight this, but you can lose the fight even if you are in great health.”
Why Does It Happen
Pneumonia symptoms may be milder or subtler in many at-risk populations. This is because many at-risk groups have a weakened immune system or a chronic or acute condition.
Because of this, these people may not receive the care that they need until the infection has become severe. Its very important to be aware of the development of any symptoms and to seek prompt medical attention.
Additionally, pneumonia can worsen preexisting chronic conditions, particularly those of the heart and lungs. This can lead to a rapid decline in condition.
Most people do eventually recover from pneumonia. However, the 30-day mortality rate is 5 to 10 percent of hospitalized patients. It can be up to 30 percent in those admitted to intensive care.
The cause of your pneumonia can often determine the severity of the infection.
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How Do You Treat Pneumonia
The only way to tell the difference between pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses is by getting a chest X-ray, which will show whether fluid and inflammation are present in the lungs, explains Dr. Dass. While the presence of fluid around the lungsin addition to the above symptomslikely indicates pneumonia, the fluid can also be a potential sign of heart or liver complications, kidney disease, or it could possibly be a side effect of certain cancers, according to Yale Medicine. “If you pneumonia, you should see your doctor as soon as possible to make the diagnosis and start treatment early,” says Dr. Dass.
Both Dr. Dass and Dr. Patel note that treatment depends on the cause and severity of pneumonia. Some people begin to feel better with 10-14 days of antibiotics, while others may need to be hospitalized and receive intravenous antibiotics and fluid replacement, explains Dr. Dass. That’s why getting to your doctor early is critical: “Most of the time, if caught early, it will mean less downtime, fewer complications, and a better prognosis,” explains Dr. Patel.