Monday, September 26, 2022

Is Pneumonia Contagious Mayo Clinic

What To Expect From The Doctor

Minute Mayo Clinic Minute: Does your child have walking pneumonia?

Be ready to answer questions your doctor may ask:

  • When did you first start having symptoms?
  • Have you had pneumonia before? If so, in which lung?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional? How severe are they?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve or worsen your symptoms?
  • Have you traveled or been exposed to chemicals or toxic substances?
  • Have you been exposed to sick people at home, school or work?
  • Do you smoke? Or have you ever smoked?
  • How much alcohol do you consume in a week?
  • Have you had flu or pneumonia vaccines?

Types Of Doctors Who Treat Pneumonia

In some cases, primary-care physicians, including pediatricians, internists, and family medicine specialists may treat pneumonia. In more severe cases, other types of specialists may be involved in caring for the patient with pneumonia. These include infectious-disease specialists, pulmonologists, critical-care specialists, and hospitalists.

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.

Also Check: How To Get Tested For Pneumonia

What Is Walking Pneumonia

Walking pneumonia is a mild form of pneumonia . This non-medical term has become a popular description because you may feel well enough to be walking around, carrying out your daily tasks and not even realize you have pneumonia.

Most of the time, walking pneumonia is caused by an atypical bacteria called Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which can live and grow in the nose, throat, windpipe and lungs . It can be treated with antibiotics.

Scientists call walking pneumonia caused by mycoplasma atypical because of the unique features of the bacteria itself. Several factors that make it atypical include:

  • Milder symptoms
  • Natural resistance to medicines that would normally treat bacterial infections
  • Often mistaken for a virus because they lack the typical cell structure of other bacteria

What Are The Complications Of Pneumonia

Natural treatment for bronchitis infection

Anyone can experience complications from pneumonia. However, people in high-risk groups are more likely to develop complications, including:

  • Breathing difficulties: Pneumonia can make breathing difficult. Pneumonia plus an existing lung disorder can make breathing even more difficult. Breathing difficulties may require a hospital stay to receive oxygen therapy or breathing and healing assistance with the use of a breathing machine .
  • Fluid buildup in the lungs : Pneumonia can cause a buildup in the fluid between the membranes that line the lungs and the inside of the chest cavity. It is a serious condition that makes breathing difficult. Pleural effusion can be treated by draining excess fluid with a catheter, chest tube or by surgery.
  • Bacteria in the bloodstream : The bacteria that cause pneumonia can leave your lungs and enter your bloodstream, spreading the infection to other organs. This condition is treated with antibiotics.
  • Lung abscess. A lung abscess is a pus-filled cavity in the lung that is caused by a bacterial infection. It can be treated by draining the pus with a long needle or removing it by surgery.

Don’t Miss: How Do You Check For Pneumonia

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.

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.

Recommended Reading: How To Cure Pneumonia Symptoms

When To Contact A Medical Professional

  • Cough that brings up bloody or rust-colored mucus
  • Breathing symptoms that get worse
  • Chest pain that gets worse when you cough or breathe in
  • Fast or painful breathing
  • Night sweats or unexplained weight loss
  • Shortness of breath, shaking chills, or persistent fevers
  • Signs of pneumonia and a weak immune system
  • Worsening of symptoms after initial improvement

How To Prevent Pneumonia

Mayo Clinic Minute: Is pneumonia bacterial or viral?

Some pneumonias are preventable. Vaccinations are available to prevent pneumonia caused by some viruses and bacteria. Also, living a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet and regularly exercising can minimize the risk of contracting pneumonia. Routine exercise can increase lung health and resistance to infections.

A healthy lifestyle also includes refraining from smoking and drinking too much alcohol to help keep the immune system healthy. Getting plenty of rest and drinking water is yet another way to help prevent illnesses like pneumonia.

Practicing thorough hand washing can also reduce your exposure to germs that can cause pneumonia, especially during cold and flu season. If you cough or sneeze, do your best to do so into a disposable tissue or the elbow of your sleeve, followed by washing your hands. Be sure to disinfect frequently used surfaces such as telephones, countertops, and doorknobs to prevent the spread of germs that can cause pneumonia.

Lastly, if people in your community are sick, do your best to practice social distancing when possible. Reducing your exposure to bacteria and viruses while living a healthy and active lifestyle can play an essential role in maintaining wellness.

Don’t Miss: I Got A Pneumonia Shot And My Arm Is Swollen

Southern Cross Medical Library

The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.

What Is The Incubation Period For Pneumonia

The incubation period for pneumonia depends on the type of pathogen causing the disease, the person’s age, and his or her overall health. In general, most pneumonias begin with symptoms similar to those of a cold or the flu that last longer than the flu and become more severe. The signs and symptoms of pneumonia include

Don’t Miss: Can You Catch Pneumonia From A Dog

How Can I Tell If I Have Pneumonia Versus The Common Cold Or The Flu

Do I have a cold or could it be the flu or even pneumonia? Its tough to tell the difference but critical to know when to seek medical care

Watch for these ongoing symptoms that occur in pneumonia:

  • Serious congestion or chest pain.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • A fever of 102 or higher.
  • Coughing that produces pus.

Pneumonia symptoms last longer than cold and flu. If your symptoms arent severe, its okay to try such home remedies as getting more rest, drinking more fluids and taking some over-the-counter medicines and see what happens. But if you dont see improvement in your symptoms after three to five days, or if you are experiencing more serious symptoms such as dizziness or severe difficulty breathing, see your healthcare provider. Dont let it go. Pneumonia-like symptoms in very young children or in adults older than 65 are a cause for concern. Also, pneumonia can cause permanent lung damage if left untreated for too long. And always seek immediate care if you experience chest pain or have breathing difficulties.

How Is Pneumonia Treated

Possible Causes Of Pneumonia

How pneumonia is treated depends on the germs that cause it.

  • Bacterial pneumonia: Bacterial pneumonia is usually treated with antibiotics. The specific antibiotic choice depends on such factors as your general health, other health conditions you may have, the type of medications you are currently taking , your recent use of antibiotics, any evidence of antibiotic resistance in the local community and your age. Medicines to relieve pain and lower fever may also be helpful. Ask your doctor if you should take a cough suppressant. Its important to be able to cough to clear your lungs.
  • Viral pneumonia: Antibiotics are not used to fight viruses. There are no treatments for most viral causes of pneumonia. However, if the flu virus is thought to be the cause, antiviral drugs might be prescribed, such as oseltamivir , zanamivir , or peramivir , to decrease the length and severity of the illness. Over-the-counter medicines to relieve pain and lower fever are usually recommended. Other medicines and therapies such as breathing treatments and exercises to loosen mucus may be prescribed by your doctor.
  • Fungal pneumonia: Antifungal medication is prescribed if a fungus is the cause of your pneumonia.

You May Like: What Is The Difference Between Pneumonia And Double Pneumonia

Incubation Period And Symptoms Of Pneumonia

The incubation period is the time from when you pick up the pneumonia virus to when you actively display symptoms. Many variables affect this, including the type of pneumonia, your general health, and your age. You may assume that you have a cold or the flu when symptoms begin because they are quite similar. However, they last longer and become more severe with time instead of less.

Besides Vaccination What Else Can I Do To Prevent Bacterial And Viral Pneumonia

Receiving all recommended vaccinations is one of the best ways to prevent pneumonia. Additionally, there are several other ways to prevent pneumonia, including:

  • Quitting smoking, and avoiding secondhand smoke. Smoking damages your lungs.
  • Washing your hands before eating, before handling food, after using the restroom, and after being outside. If soap is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoiding being around people who are sick. Ask them to visit when they are feeling better.
  • Not touching or sharing objects that are shared with others. Germs can be transferred from object to you if you touch your nose or mouth without washing or sanitizing your hands first.
  • Eating a healthy diet, exercise, and get enough rest. Healthy habits keep your immune system strong.
  • Getting treated for any other infections or health conditions you may have. These conditions could weaken your immune system, which could increase your chance of infections.
  • Avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol.

Read Also: Symptoms Of Walking Pneumonia In The Elderly

Bronchitis Vs Pneumonia: Why Theyre Related And How Theyre Different

A pneumonia diagnosis is based on your medical history, a physical exam, and certain test results. Your doctor determines which type of pneumonia you have based on how you became infected, what your X-ray or lung exam reveals, and which kind of germ is responsible for your infection.

During a physical exam, your doctor will check your vital signs and listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. Decreased breath sounds is an indication of a lot of inflammation, says Michelle Barron, MD, a professor in the division of infectious diseases at University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora.

If your doctor suspects pneumonia, they may order further diagnostic tests, such as a chest X-ray to help determine the extent of the infection. Blood tests and an analysis of the patients sputum can pinpoint whats causing the pneumonia. Pulse oximetry measures the oxygen level in your blood .

When To Seek Medical Care For Your Pneumonia

Mayo Clinic Minute: Fighting influenza

At UPMC Western Maryland, we recommend that any person who has had a cough and a fever after experiencing flu-like symptoms schedule an appointment with their primary care provider as soon as possible or visit a UPMC Western Maryland urgent care center. This is especially important if the cough produces sputum that appears brown, green, or yellow in color. Anyone who experiences shortness of breath, high fever, confusion, or pain after a diagnosis of pneumonia should go to the UPMC Western Maryland Emergency Department immediately for treatment. Those with a depressed immune system or chronic conditions like HIV or diabetes should also seek immediate care.

UPMC Western Maryland wishes you a safe and healthy winter of 2019. If youre concerned about the possibility of pneumonia, we encourage you to speak to your primary care provider about a vaccine to prevent some of its types. Its also important to maintain good personal hygiene standards, avoid people who are already sick with pneumonia, and stay home when you have the disease yourself.

Please note, the information provided throughout this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and video, on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. If you are experiencing relating symptoms, please visit your doctor or call 9-1-1 in an emergency.

Don’t Miss: How Many Times Should You Get A Pneumonia Shot

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

Causes And Risk Factors Of Pneumonia

How do you get pneumonia? The majority of the germs that cause infection are spread from person to person through droplets, from coughing or sneezing.

People who smoke are at higher risk for pneumonia, as are people on immunosuppressive medications, and people who are frequently in close, crowded spaces with others, such as college students and military personnel.

Don’t Miss: Is There A Test For Pneumonia

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Pneumonia In Children

The signs and symptoms of pneumonia in children vary from child to child and also depend on your childs age, cause of the infection, and severity of their illness.

Usual symptoms include:

  • Cry more than usual. Are restless or more fussy.

Adolescents have the same symptoms as adults, including:

  • Cough.
  • Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain.

Newborns are at greater risk of pneumonia caused by bacteria present in the birth canal. In young children, viruses are the main cause of pneumonia.

Pneumonia caused by bacteria tends to happen suddenly, starting with fever and fast breathing. Symptoms appear more slowly and tend to be less severe when pneumonia is caused by viruses.

What Can I Do To Feel Better If I Have Pneumonia

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.

Also Check: Is There A New Pneumonia Vaccine

Are There Treatments For Covid

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.

Popular Articles
Related news