Wednesday, September 28, 2022

How Serious Is Double Pneumonia

Drug Trial To Treat Newly Discovered Targets In Covid

Milwaukee man describes experience with `double pneumonia` due to COVID-19

As a result of the detailed analysis, researchers identified critical targets to treat severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia and lessen its damage. The targets are the immune cells: macrophages and T cells. The study suggests macrophages cells typically charged with protecting the lung can be infected by SARS-CoV-2 and can contribute to spreading the infection through the lung.

Northwestern Medicine will test an experimental drug to treat these targets in COVID-19 pneumonia patients in a clinical trial early in 2021. The drug to be tested quiets the inflammatory response of these immune cells, thus enabling initiation of the repair process in the injured lung.

Key Points About Pneumonia

  • Pneumonia is an infection of one or both of the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi.

  • There are more than 30 different causes of pneumonia, and theyre grouped by the cause. The main types of pneumonia are bacterial, viral, and mycoplasma pneumonia.

  • A cough that produces green, yellow, or bloody mucus is the most common symptom of pneumonia. Other symptoms include fever, shaking chills, shortness of breath, low energy, and extreme tiredness.

  • Pneumonia can often be diagnosed with a thorough history and physical exam. Tests used to look at the lungs, blood tests, and tests done on the sputum you cough up may also be used.

  • Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia you have. Antibiotics are used for bacterial pneumonia. It may also speed recovery from mycoplasma pneumonia and some special cases. Most viral pneumonias dont have a specific treatment and just get better on their own. Other treatment may include a healthy diet, more fluids, rest, oxygen therapy, and medicine for pain, cough, and fever control.

  • Most people with pneumonia respond well to treatment, but pneumonia can cause serious lung and infection problems. It can even be deadly.

Is Double Pneumonia Contagious

Not all forms of double pneumonia are contagious. Double pneumonia caused by viruses is extremely contagious and viruses can survive on inanimate objects for long which increases the likelihood of others developing an infection by coming in contact with such objects. Bacterial double pneumonia too can be transmitted easily from person to person but it is less contagious than viral double pneumonia. However, a fungus caused double pneumonia is not contagious at all. It cannot pass from one person to another. The fungus lives in the environment and enters a persons body directly.

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Double Pneumonia And Covid

Pneumonia is just one of the slew of side effects from COVID-19.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute describes pneumonia as an infection in one or both of the lungs that causes the alveoli to fill with fluid. With double pneumonia, both lungs are affected.

Richard Watkins, M.D., a Northeast Ohio Medical University associate professor of internal medicine who specializes in infectious disease, tells Prevention readers, Bacterial pneumonia more commonly involves one lung and viral often is a diffuse pattern in both lungs. X-rays and CT scans in patients with COVID-19 usually show both lungs are involved.

Can Coronavirus Patients Lessen The Chance Of Lung Damage

Pneumonia: Symptoms, causes, and treatments

There are things patients can do to increase their chances for less severe lung damage, Galiatsatos says.

If you have a health issue that puts you at higher risk, make sure youre doing everything you can to minimize the chance of contracting the virus. Also, make sure that your chronic health conditions are managed as well as they can be. For example, people living with diabetes, COPD or heart disease should be especially careful to manage those conditions with monitoring and taking their medications as directed.

Galiatsatos adds that proper nutrition and hydration can also help patients avoid complications of COVID-19. Staying well fed is important for overall health. Proper hydration maintains proper blood volume and healthy mucous membranes in the respiratory system, which can help them better resist infection and tissue damage.

Coronavirus: Smoking, Vaping, Wildfire Smoke and Air Pollution

Our expert, Panagis Galiatsatos, M.D., M.H.S. discusses how smoking, vaping and air pollution might increase the severity of COVID-19. Learn about how each of these could affect a COVID-19 diagnosis.

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Pneumonia Is Very Common In The United States

Pneumonia is a very common illness in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , nearly 1.3 million Americans were diagnosed with pneumonia in 2017. The agency says that while most people who come down with pneumonia in the country are adults, this lung infection can affect people of all ages. And for more coronavirus concerns, know that Dr. Fauci Just Issued This New Chilling Warning About COVID.

Pneumonia And Long Covid

In a Q& A about lingering COVID-19 symptoms, the Cleveland Clinic notes that it is seemingly random who experiences long-lasting symptoms and who doesn’t. So, its not quite clear whether having pneumonia in the past is connected with having long COVID.

As a way to find answers, in 2021, the National Institutes of Health launched an ongoing study into the underlying biological causes of prolonged symptoms and what makes some people more likely to get long COVID.

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What Are The Treatment Options For Double Pneumonia

Pneumonia in two lungs is treated the same way as it is in one lung.

The treatment plan will depend on the cause and severity of the infection, and your age and general health. Your treatment may include over-the-counter drugs to relieve pain and fever. These could include:

  • aspirin
  • ibuprofen
  • acetaminophen

Your doctor may also suggest a cough medicine to help manage your cough so that you can rest. According to Mayo Clinic, coughing helps move fluid from your lungs, so you dont want to eliminate it entirely.

You can help yourself have a smoother recovery. Take your prescribed medication, rest, drink plenty of fluids, and dont push yourself to get back to your regular activities too soon.

Specific treatments for different types of pneumonia include:

Can You Catch Pneumonia More Than Once

New bypass machine saves Melbourne father after serious pneumonia diagnosis

Yes. Pneumonia is caused by many different microbes, and so getting it once does not protect you from getting it again. If you get pneumonia more than once you may need to have more investigations to understand why this has happened. It could be due to a problem in your chest or your immune system, and you may be referred to a specialist.

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Complications Of Pneumonia Caused By Covid

Because pneumonia causes the alveoli in the lungs to fill with pus and fluid, breathing can be painful and difficult.

Pneumonia can cause serious health complications, including:

Because COVID-19 attacks the lungs, it would make sense that having COVID-19 would cause lung complications. As of yet, not enough data are available to support this conclusion.

However, as noted above, research does show that COVID-19 can cause severe illness, including pneumonia that can be fatal. A 2020 study by the CDC found that among a group of people with COVID-19, about 70% had complications from pneumonia. Also, people with COVID-19 were twice as likely to get pneumonia compared to people with the flu.

Regarding long-lasting complications from COVID-19, it is still too soon to say for sure whether “long-haulers” are more likely to have underlying chronic medical conditions.

Are You Vulnerable To Double Pneumonia

There are a few risk factors of pneumonia and if you have a likelihood of contracting pneumonia, it could proceed to both the lungs in no time. If you fall within this bracket of vulnerabilities or know anyone who does, then exert caution-

  • All children under the age of 2
  • People over the age of 65
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Anyone who has developed a chronic illness such as diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, Addisons Disease that attack healthy cells
  • HIV/AIDS that pulverizes a persons immunity
  • A stint in the hospital
  • People who smoke because tobacco particles weaken the immune system
  • Contracting a lung disease such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder
  • People with heart diseases
  • Inordinate drinking and substance abuse

The first line of treatment consists of aspirins, NSAIDs and paracetamols. You may also be given medicines to ease fits of coughing, sore throat and the other symptoms of double pneumonia. If double pneumonia is caused by a bacterial infection, you will need antibiotics. If pneumonia causes other infections such as sepsis or pleural effusion, the most effective mode of treatment is administering intravenous antimicrobial medicines. A virus caused double pneumonia can be battled by antiviral drugs.

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Covid Pneumonia: How Long Does Recovery Take

You’re likely familiar with the common, mild symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, dry cough and fatigue.

But, in more severe cases, COVID-19 can also cause serious complications, including pneumonia.

“We still have a lot to learn about COVID-19, particularly about the havoc it can wreak on the lungs and the pneumonia it causes, which is often now called COVID pneumonia,” says Dr. Rayman Lee, pulmonologist at Houston Methodist.

That being said, there’s still plenty that experts like Dr. Lee do know about COVID pneumonia, including about how long it can take to fully recover from it.

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Other Covid Risk Factors Are Also Often Associated With Pneumonia

The CDC has created a list of medical conditions that put you at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID, but pneumonia is not one of them. However, as the Harvard researchers note, a previous pneumonia case could actually be an indicator of an underlying condition that is included in the list of risk factors.

In fact, the CDC says you are more likely to get pneumonia if you smoke or have underlying medical conditions like diabetes or heart disease. And smoking, diabetes, and heart disease are all listed by the CDC as conditions that put you at increased risk of severe COVID. And for more from this agency, find out why The CDC Warns Against Using These 6 Face Masks.

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Pneumonia Treatments And Covid

According to the World Health Organization , bacterial pneumonia should be treated with antibiotics, which are usually prescribed at a health center.

If your symptoms are severe, it is important that you call your healthcare provideror seek immediate helpto get the proper treatment. Severe symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bluish color in your lips or fingertips
  • A high fever
  • Cough with mucus that is severe or worsening

Although COVID-19 is caused by a virus, people with the illness can still develop a superinfection, which is a reinfection or secondary infection caused by bacteria. If this happens, antibiotics will be given to the patient. In order to prevent antibiotic resistance, when antibiotics become useless against bacteria, some researchers have suggested following antimicrobial stewardship principles .

Moreover, because severe cases of pneumonia may require treatment at a hospital, healthcare providers must consider the chance that a patient may acquire coinfections in hospitals. So, to be safe and not add to superinfection among hospitalized patients, antibiotics are warranted.

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What Is The Recovery Time For Covid Pneumonia

Dr. Lee: Regardless of what causes it, regaining strength after pneumonia can take quite a long time from several weeks to many months.

During COVID pneumonia recovery, your body first has to repair the damage caused to the lungs then it has to deal with clearing leftover fluid and debris and, finally, scarring until the tissue is fully healed over all of which come with unpleasant symptoms.

For the 15% of infected individuals who develop moderate to severe COVID-19 and are admitted to the hospital for a few days and require oxygen, the average recovery time ranges between three to six weeks.

For the 5% who develop severe or critical illness, recovery can take much longer.

Everyone’s recovery is unique and depends on:

  • Your overall health
  • Whether you have preexisting conditions
  • The severity of your infection

If you are recovering from COVID pneumonia and experiencing persistent problems, I recommend seeing your doctor for a follow-up evaluation. If your recovery is prolonged, he or she may recommend a specialized program, such as pulmonary rehabilitation, to help get you back on track.

In some cases, patients will have lingering symptoms after the initial COVID-19 infection, often called post-COVID syndrome. These “long haulers” can have variety of problems, since the virus can attack not only the lungs, but also the heart, kidneys and brain. Your doctor can also help you manage these lingering symptoms.

Next Steps:

You’re More At Risk Of Dying From Covid If You’ve Had Pneumonia Before

Tips to Prevent Getting Pneumonia Like Oprah Did

Harvard researchers recently discovered that a prior case of pneumonia can be a strong indicator that you’ll have a more severeor even deadlycase if infected with COVID. In their new study, published in the journal NPJ Digital Medicine on Feb. 4, they pulled data from the medical records of nearly 17,000 COVID patients. Their research showed that after age, pneumonia was the second-greatest risk factor for death from COVID. Out of those who died from COVID, nearly 49 percent had a history of pneumonia.

“A history of pneumonia, which is rarely asked in typical epidemiology studies, was one of the most important risk factors for predicting COVID-19 mortality,” the researchers stated in their study. And for more ways to reduce your risk, find out why These 3 Vitamins Could Save You From Severe COVID, Study Finds.

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Who Gets Pneumonia

Are some people more prone? Does getting pneumonia mean someone has a weak immune system or something?

Getting pneumonia doesnt necessarily mean that your immune system is weak. Lots of perfectly healthy people get pneumonia.

However, the risk of developing pneumonia is higher for people with certain conditions such as:

  • Asthma

Pneumonia can also have serious complications or even be deadly, especially for people who:

  • Are very young
  • Are age 65 and older
  • Have immune systems weakened by other serious illnesses or medications

In the United States, about 10 percent of people over the age of 65 who are hospitalized for pneumonia will die within 30 days, so this can be very serious stuff.

Do symptoms present differently in older people?

They sure can. The typical symptoms of pneumonia can be more subtle in older people, or they can present differently altogether, with the only sign of illness being weakness, confusion or collapsing.

Do stress and exhaustion make it worse?

Is it obvious if someone has it? As in, if you were watching Clinton, or a colleague at work, would their symptoms be obvious or not?

Most people with pneumonia will appear at least a little sick. You might notice them:

  • Coughing a lot
  • Looking flushed or like they are sweating
  • Walking more slowly or unsteadily
  • Having a hard time speaking or walking without having to pause to catch their breath

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 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.

Are There Treatments For Covid

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Pneumonia may need treatment in a hospital with oxygen, a ventilator to help you breathe, and intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration.

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.

The agency rescinded an emergency use authorization for the anti-malarials chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine amid serious concerns about their safety and how well they worked against the virus.

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Do You Have Pneumonia Symptoms

Find a family medicine or primary care doctor near you.

Another essential piece of the puzzle is determining if the infection may have been picked up from a hospital or other health-care facility like a nursing home. Pathogens that live in these places have a greater chance of being antibiotic resistant and require different treatment considerations.

For most people, especially those without other serious medical conditions, a simple course of antibiotics along with rest and fluids will do, and theyll be back on their feet in no time.

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