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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
Symptoms Of Walking Pneumonia In Teenagers
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What Are The Types Of Pneumonia
The most common kinds are viral and bacterial. And most cases are caused by viruses. Some of the viruses that can cause pneumonia include influenza virus , respiratory syncytial virus , adenovirus and parainfluenza virus .
Kids with viral pneumonia have symptoms that appear more gradually. Also, viral pneumonia can last longer than bacterial pneumonia .
Bacterial pneumonia is often called community-acquired pneumonia . Its caused by certain types of bacteria like Streptococcus pneumonia . Some of these bacteria usually live harmlessly on our skin and in our noses, and our immune system prevents the bacteria from causing pneumonia.
When kids get this type of pneumonia, theyll likely get sick fairly quickly, starting with a high fever, coughing and, sometimes, fast breathing.
If your child has bacterial pneumonia, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to help speed recovery and prevent the infection from spreading to other household members. With treatment, most children start to feel better in a few days.
In both the viral and bacterial types, kids may continue to cough for a few weeks after the infection is gone.
Covid In Kids: The Most Telling Symptoms
By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
MONDAY, Nov. 30, 2020 — Among thousands of kids tested for COVID-19, an upset stomach, loss of taste/smell, fever and headache were symptoms most predictive of positive test results, a Canadian study found.
But one-third of children and teens with the coronavirus showed no symptoms, the researchers noted.
“Because more than one-third of pediatric patients who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection exhibit no symptoms, identifying children who are likely to be infected is challenging. Indeed, the proportion of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections in children is likely much higher than we have reported, given the likelihood that many would not present for testing,” Dr. Finlay McAlister, of the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and co-authors said.
Cough and a runny nose were also frequent among kids who tested positive, but the investigators said those same complaints were common among kids who tested negative and couldn’t be considered tell-tale signs of COVID-19 infection.
“Many other influenza-like symptoms were as common, or more common, in children testing negative for SARS-CoV-2,” and thus had limited predictive value for detecting COVID-19 in children,” the authors wrote in the Nov. 24 issue of the CMAJ .
For the study, they assessed symptoms among more than 2,400 children in the province of Alberta, Canada, who were tested for the coronavirus between April 13 and Sept. 30, 2020.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Pneumonia
The signs and symptoms depend on your child’s age and the cause of his or her pneumonia. Signs and symptoms of bacterial pneumonia usually begin more quickly than signs and symptoms of viral pneumonia. Your child may have any of the following:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Chest pain when your child coughs or breathes deeply
- Abdominal pain near your child’s ribs
- Poor appetite
- Crying more than usual, or more irritable or fussy than normal
- Pale or bluish lips, fingernails, or toenails
Complications Of Pneumonia In Teens
Teens with low immunity and chronic illnesses are more vulnerable to pneumonia-related complications, such as :
- Multi-organ failure due to sepsis
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Respiratory failure requiring ventilatory or breathing support
- Pleural effusion
- Lung abscesses that require surgical draining
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How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Your child’s healthcare provider will examine your child and listen to his or her lungs. Tell the provider if your child has other health conditions. Your child may also need any of the following:
- A chest x-ray may show signs of infection in your child’s lungs.
- Blood tests may show signs of an infection or the bacteria causing your child’s pneumonia.
- A mucus sample is collected and tested for the germ that is causing your child’s illness. It can help your child’s healthcare provider choose the best medicine to treat the infection.
- Pulse oximetry measures the amount of oxygen in your child’s blood.
How Is Walking Pneumonia Diagnosed
The doctor can diagnose your childs symptoms as walking pneumonia after a physical examination only. You will have to list all the symptoms occurred and for how long have they persisted. The doctor shall also ask about the environment living in and studying in too. There will be a distinct crackling sound heard on the stethoscope on breathing.
The doctor can also ask for a chest X ray or a blood test or mucus samples from nose or throat. The blood sample collected can identify the Mycoplasma infection. These tests thus confirm the presence of walking pneumonia.
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Prevention Of Pneumonia In Teens
The following measures may help prevent pneumonia .
- Vaccination can help prevent or lower the risk for pneumonia caused by a few bacteria and viruses, such as haemophilus influenzae type b , varicella , influenza , streptococcus pneumoniae, bordetella pertussis , and measles .
- Wash hands with alcohol-based sanitizer or soap and water.
- A healthy diet, physical activity, and adequate sleep help improve immunity.
- Maintain good hygiene and proper ventilation in crowded homes.
- Avoid smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke, and exposure to air pollutants.
- Dosage of preventive medicines can reduce the risk of pneumonia in immunocompromised teens.
Pneumonia in teens is a microbial infection transmittable from an infected individual to a healthy one. It is treatable with home care measures and medications and preventable with vaccination. Further, having your teen follow basic personal hygiene rules could help reduce their risk of getting infected. If your teen has not been vaccinated, speak to a doctor about vaccinating them. Also, annual flu vaccination is now recommended for all individuals above 6 months before the flu season, which occurs at around the end of October in the Northern hemisphere and the end of April in the Southern.
Medical Attention For Children With Pneumonia
Children who have been recently hospitalized, use antibiotics frequently, have asthma or another chronic illness, or haven’t been fully vaccinated against certain illnesses rubeola , chickenpox, pertussis , Haemophilus influenzae type B infections, or the seasonal flu are at greater risk for developing pneumonia.
A child who hasn’t been vaccinated with Prevnar 13 is also more likely to get pneumonia.
Two key signs that a child requires immediate medical attention are:
- Flaring of the nostrils while breathing
- Using the muscles below and between the ribs and above the collarbone to aid in breathing
Young children with pneumonia will breathe fast. Doctors say you can see their belly muscles working hard to help them breathe. If your child is breathing fast, it’s best to take them to the emergency room.
Additional reporting by George Vernadakis
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Is Walking Pneumonia Contagious
Walking pneumonia is contagious and the infection spreads through sneezes or coughs. You can be contagious for up to 10 days.
It is believed by researchers that it takes a lot of close contact for the infection to spread to others. Still widespread outbreaks of walking pneumonia occur every four to eight years.
What Tests Are Used To Diagnose Pneumonia
Your child’s doctor may order a to diagnose pneumonia. The cause of some types of pneumonia can be determined by culturing the bacteria taken from the mucus an ill child produces from coughing. This helps doctors determine what types of treatments will work best. Some viral pneumonias can be diagnosed by testing nasal secretions.
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Symptoms Of Walking Pneumonia In Teens
Walking pneumonia otherwise referred by the doctor as atypical pneumonia is like a common cold but it lasts for longer than a week. The symptoms may set in suddenly or take longer to appear. The slower the symptoms appear the severe the symptoms tend to be.
Your child if suffering prom walking pneumonia can attend school and tend to his or her day to day activities without much of a hassle, which is why it is called as walking. In some cases the child can stay at home till the antibiotics start working and the symptoms improve.
Some of the common symptoms observed in teens or children suffering from walking pneumonia are listed below:
- A low grade fever of 101o F or below
- Cold like symptoms such as chills, sore throat, headache, etc.
- Laboured breathing causing the rib muscles to retract.
- Breathing with wheezing or grunting sounds or fast breathing.
- Ear pain
- Weakness persisting even after symptoms subside
- May have anaemia
Symptoms usually depend on the location of infection. If the infection is on the top or middle of the lung, then your child will present a symptom of laboured breathing. If the infection is on the lower part of the lung, then your child will present with no symptoms related to breathing instead nausea, vomiting, stomach pain.
Causes Of Pneumonia In Teenagers
Bacteria, fungi, and viruses are common causes of pneumonia. Microbes can spread through respiratory droplets while coughing and sneezing or direct contact with an infected person.
The common microorganisms that cause pneumonia are the following .
- Mycoplasma pneumonia
Viral and bacterial pneumonia can have similar clinical features in the early period. Bacterial pneumonia may have an earlier onset of breathing issues than viral pneumonia. Viral pneumonia could be mild or often resolve with home treatments, but some viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19, may cause severe pneumonia .
It is best to seek medical care if your teen has pneumonia symptoms, such as high fever, chest pain, and breathing difficulties, since these also occur in other respiratory conditions. Early diagnosis of the underlying cause may help avoid complications.
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Why Are Children Less Affected
Many explanations have been proposed for the fact that children appear to be less frequently affected and have milder manifestations of COVID-19 however, they remain assumptions given the lack of scientific evidence on the subject.
The immune response of children differs from that of adults, which progressively deteriorates with age such that preschoolers have a repertoire of immune cells 510 times larger than that of a 50-year-old, and 20 times larger than that of an 80-year-old. It remains to be seen to what degree this may play a role in mitigating the spread of the virus and in the cytokine signaling cascade triggered by SARS-CoV-2 as they relate to severe outcomes in adulthood .
A cross-reactivity between immune response to early childhood vaccinesespecially MMRand response to SARS-CoV-2 has also been proposed. However, no clear evidence has emerged to date to support this proposal, and paucisymptomatic cases are reported even in unvaccinated children. A large pediatric clinical series on 2,143 children reported a 5.9% rate of serious and critical casesand only one death . Shekerdemian et al. reported a mortality rate of 4.2% in a cohort of 48 COVID-19-positive children admitted to the ICU, most of whom had previous comorbidities .
Can I Prevent Pneumonia
The routine vaccinations that most people receive as kids help prevent certain types of pneumonia and other infections. If you have a chronic illness, such as sickle cell disease, you may have received extra vaccinations and disease-preventing antibiotics to help prevent pneumonia and other infections caused by bacteria.
People should get a pneumococcal vaccination if they have diseases that affect their immune system , are 65 years or older, or are in other high-risk groups. Depending on the bugs that are likely to affect them, these people also may get antibiotics to prevent pneumonia, as well as antiviral medicine to prevent or lessen the effects of viral pneumonia.
Doctors recommend that everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu shot. That’s because someone with the flu could then come down with pneumonia. Call your doctor’s office or check your local health department to see when these vaccines are available.
Because pneumonia is often caused by germs, a good way to prevent it is to keep your distance from anyone you know who has pneumonia or other respiratory infections. Use separate drinking glasses and eating utensils wash your hands often with warm, soapy water and avoid touching used tissues and paper towels.
You also can stay strong and help avoid some of the illnesses that might lead to pneumonia by eating as healthily as possible, getting a minimum of 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night, and not smoking.
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Treating Pneumonia In Children
The effectiveness of pneumonia treatment depends on whether the cause was a virus or bacteria. Doctors typically rely on a physical exam and tests, including chest x-rays and blood tests, to diagnose pneumonia. They may request a sputum culture to confirm the presence of a lung infection and use a pulse oximeter to measure your childâs oxygen levels.
If a virus caused a childâs pneumonia, treatment options are more limited. Doctors may recommend rest and medication to keep the childâs fever down if one is present. It’s recommended not to give cough suppressants with codeine or dextromethorphan to children with pneumonia. Coughing helps expel excess mucus and clears the lungs.
Antibiotics can be effective in cases where bacteria cause pneumonia. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics to treat your childâs pneumonia, you should give them the recommended dosage as often as your doctor directs you to. Avoid the temptation to stop using them once your child shows improvement. There may still be bacteria lingering in your childâs lungs, and if you stop giving antibiotics to your child, it may allow for pneumonia to return.
Mild Pneumonia In Children
Pneumonia that is caused by certain bacteria, including Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydophila pneumoniae, usually results in milder symptoms, even in children.
This type of pneumonia, known as atypical or walking pneumonia, is prevalent among school-age children.
Children with walking pneumonia may not feel sick enough to stay home, but they could have the following symptoms:
- Dry cough
Mycoplasma pneumoniae is responsible for about 2 to 20 percent of all adult cases of pneumonia, but the rate is even higher among school-age children. An estimated 2 million Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections occur each year in the United States, and its the most common cause of pneumonia in school-age children.
That’s because the bacteria that can cause walking pneumonia which most often develops in late summer and fall spread from person to person. Outbreaks clearly can occur within groups that have close contact, such as schools or camps, and kids who are exposed to these germs while they’re at school often bring the illness home.
Fortunately, Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections respond well to antibiotic treatment, and they are rarely serious. People who have had the infection develop some level of immunity, but a subsequent infection is possible.
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