When Can I Return To Work School And Regular Activities If I Have Pneumonia
You typically can resume your normal activities if your symptoms are gone, mild or improving and you do not have new or worsening:
- Shortness of breath or tiredness
- Chest pain
- Mucus, fever or cough
If you are generally healthy, most people feel well enough to return to previous activities in about a week. However, it may take about a month to feel totally back to normal.
What Is Pneumonia Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Pneumonia is a lower respiratory lung infection that causes inflammation in one or both lungs.
Air sacs in your lungs called alveoli can then fill up with fluid or pus, causing flu-like symptoms that can persist for weeks or cause rapid deterioration of breathing leading to hospitalization. Pneumonia doesn’t respond to over-the-counter cold and sinus medicines.
Pneumonia comes in different forms and is caused primarily by bacteria or viruses, which are contagious, and less commonly by fungi or parasites.
The type of germ contributes to how serious the illness can become and how its treated. The severity of an infection depends on many factors, including your age and overall health, as well as where you may have acquired the illness.
Occupational And Regional Pneumonias
Exposure to chemicals can also cause inflammation and pneumonia. Where you work and live can put you at higher risk for exposure to pneumonia-causing organisms.
- Workers exposed to cattle, pigs, sheep, and horses are at risk for pneumonia caused by anthrax, brucella, and Coxiella burnetii .
Inhalation or respiratory anthrax is a life-threatening infectious disease caused by inhaling the spores of the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Although the spores are dormant when breathed in, they germinate when exposed to a warm, moist environment, such as the lungs. Not all particles are small enough to pass into the alveoli, or air sacs, but those that do begin to multiply and may spread to the lymphatic system. When the spores germinate, several toxins are released. Particles illustrated are not to scale.
- Agricultural and construction workers in the Southwest are at risk for coccidioidomycosis . The disease is caused by the spores of the fungi Coccidioides immitis and Coccidiodes posadasii.
- Those working in Ohio and the Mississippi Valley are at risk for histoplasmosis, a lung disease caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. This fungus grows well in areas enriched with bird or bat droppings.
Incubation Period Of Common Diseases
The incubation period for some common diseases includes:
- Adenovirus – 2 to 14 days, leading to a sore throat, fever, and pink eye
- Vomiting after exposure to Bacillus cereus, a type of food poisoning – 30 minutes to 6 hours
- Clostridium tetani – 3 to 21 days
- Chickenpox – 10 to 21 days
- Coxsackievirus infections, such as HFMD – 3 to 6 days
- Epstein-Barr Virus Infections – 30 to 50 days
- E. coli – 10 hours to 6 days
- E. coli O157:H7 – 1 to 8 days
- Fifth disease – 4 to 21 days, with the classic ‘slapped cheek’ rash
- Group A streptococcal infection – 2 to 5 days
- Group A streptococcal infection – 7 to 10 days
- Head lice – 7 to 12 days
- Herpes – 2 to 14 days
- Influenza – 1 to 4 days
- Listeria monocytogenes – 1 day to 3 weeks, but can be as long as 2 months
- Measles – 7 to 18 days
- Molluscum contagiosum – 2 weeks to 6 months
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis – 2 to 10 weeks
- Mycoplasma penumoniae – 1 to 4 weeks
- Norovirus – 12 to 48 hours
- Pinworms – 1 to 2 months
- Rabies – 4 to 6 weeks, but can last years
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus – 2 to 8 days
- Rhinovirus – 2 to 3 days, but may be up to 7 days
- Roseola – about 9 to 10 days, leading to a few days of fever and then the classic rash once the fever breaks
- Rotavirus – 1 to 3 days
- Gastrointestinal symptoms after exposure to Salmonella – 6 to 72 hours
- Scabies – 4 to 6 weeks
- Staphylococcus aureus – varies
- Streptococcus pneumoniae – 1 to 3 days
- Whooping cough – 5 to 21 days
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.
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.
What Should I Do If Im Fully Vaccinated And Ive Been Exposed To The Coronavirus
If youre fully vaccinated and youve come in contact with someone infected with COVID-19, you dont need to quarantine unless you have possible COVID symptoms.
Even if you dont have any symptoms, the CDC recommends that you:
- Get tested 5-7 days after exposure.
- Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days after exposure or until your COVID-19 test result is negative.
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Inflammation In The Lungs
Pneumonia is inflammation of the air sacs in the lungs that is most often caused by infection with bacteria, viruses, or other organisms. Occasionally, inhaled chemicals other non-infectious factors can cause lung inflammation . Age groups at the extremes, that is the very young and old, are more vulnerable to pneumonia. Healthy adults can usually fight off pneumonia caused by infections. However, it is easier for bacteria to grow in the lungs of people who are sick and have a weakened immune system, like those who are recovering from influenza or an upper respiratory illness. Pneumonia is the 6th leading cause of death for Americans age 65 years and older. Worldwide, pneumonia is a leading cause of death in children under age 5 years.
When air is inhaled through the nose or mouth, it travels down the trachea to the left bronchus and right bronchus, where it first enters the lungs. From the bronchus, air goes through the smaller bronchi, into the even smaller bronchioles, and lastly into the alveoli.
Symptoms Of Atypical Pneumonia
Atypical pneumonia is most commonly caused by mycoplasma, chlamydia, or a virus. It usually appears in children and young adults. Symptoms are usually mild and often go undiagnosed and untreated. Legionnaire disease, however, is a severe form of atypical pneumonia that usually strikes adults and seniors.
The disease progresses gradually:
- General flu-like symptoms often occur first. They may include fatigue, fever, weakness, headache, nasal discharge, sore throat, earache, and stomach and intestinal distress.
- Vague pain under and around the breastbone may occur, but the severe chest pain associated with typical bacterial pneumonia is uncommon.
- People may have a severe hacking cough, but it usually does not produce sputum.
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Search Strategy And Selection Criteria
For each virus, we searched PubMed, Google Scholar, and ISI Web of Knowledge 4.0 with no restrictions on language, although non-English documents were excluded on abstract review. Searches were done between May, 2007, and January, 2008, with no restriction on the earliest date of the articles returned. On PubMed, we searched for the terms incubation, period, and the virus name on Google Scholar we searched for the phrases incubation period of and incubation period for and on ISI Web of Knowledge, we searched for incubation period and the virus name. Each search was done with common variations of the virus name, specifically: adenovirus, coronavirus, human coronavirus, HCoV, severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS, influenza, measles, human metapneumovirus, hMPV, parainfluenza, HPIV, respiratory syncytial virus, RSV, and rhinovirus. We also reviewed four widely used infectious disease references,, , , as well as several library catalogues and the Cochrane Library.
Non-English documents and dead links returned by Google Scholar were excluded from abstract review. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer, and excluded from full-text review if they were definitively about a different disease, a non-human study, or a non-respiratory manifestation of the disease. Otherwise, all other articles returned by the searches were included in full-text review.
How Is The Coronavirus Transmitted
SARS-CoV-2 spreads mostly from person to person through respiratory droplets that are transmitted when a person with the virus talks, laughs, sneezes, or coughs. When droplets containing the virus enter your nose, mouth, or eyes, you can contract the virus.
Theres also a possibility that someone who has the coronavirus can transmit the virus even if they dont develop symptoms. This is called asymptomatic transmission.
A May 2021 study followed workers participating in a mass screening program for COVID-19. It found that asymptomatic individuals presented a significant risk for the virus to spread to their contacts.
Its also possible to transmit the virus before you develop COVID-19 symptoms. This is called presymptomatic transmission. Well discuss this a little more in the next section.
You also dont necessarily have to be in the company of someone who has the virus either. Its possible for aerosols from a person with coronavirus to remain in the air, possibly for hours, after theyve talked, coughed, or sneezed.
While this type of transmission is of concern, its probably only likely to happen in certain places, such as:
- households or communal living situations like nursing homes, prisons, or dormitories
- indoor spaces with poor ventilation
- crowded or poorly ventilated areas where few people are wearing masks
as contagious as the original strain of the coronavirus.
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How Is Bacterial Pneumonia Diagnosed
Your veterinarian may suspect bacterial pneumonia based on the presence of the signs listed above, combined with the results of a physical examination, especially if abnormal lung sounds are heard when listening to your dogs chest with a stethoscope.
A series of tests may be required to confirm the diagnosis and to exclude other diseases that could be causing the symptoms, including:
- CBC and biochemistry profile. These blood tests will assess the general health of your dog, and specific blood or fecal tests may be recommended to rule out parasitic diseases such as heartworm or lungworm. Specific blood tests to rule out serious metabolic diseases may be necessary.
- Thoracic radiography . Radiographs often show characteristic changes in the lungs, and may be helpful to eliminate other types of heart or lung disease.
- Cytology using bronchoscopy. A small fiber optic camera called a bronchoscope is used to directly examine the inner surfaces of the airways in an anesthetized dog. After completing the visual examination, cytology samples can be collected for microscopic examination and for bacterial culture and sensitivity testing.
How Is Walking Pneumonia Different From Regular Pneumonia
Walking pneumonia differs from typical pneumonia in several ways, including:
- Walking pneumonia is a milder form of pneumonia.
- Walking pneumonia usually does not require bed rest or hospitalization.
- Walking pneumonia is usually caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Typical pneumonia is most commonly caused by _Streptococcus _pneumonia or influenza virus or rhinovirus.
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What Tests Diagnose Pneumonia
The diagnosis of pneumonia always begins with taking a medical history and performing a physical examination to look for characteristic signs. In particular, listening to the lungs may reveal areas where sound is diminished, wheezing, or crackling sounds in affected areas. Some commonly performed diagnostic tests are as follows:
- A chest X-ray is able to illustrate whether or not pneumonia is present, but it does not provide information about the organism responsible for the infection.
- In some cases, a chest CT scan may be performed. This will reveal more detail than the chest X-ray.
- Pulse oximetry measures the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. The test involves a painless sensor attached to the finger or ear. Blood levels of oxygen may be reduced in pneumonia.
- Microbiology tests to identify the causative organism. Tests may be performed on blood or sputum. Rapid urine tests are available to identify Streptococcus pneumoniae and Legionella pneumophila. Cultures of blood or sputum not only identify the responsible organism but can also be examined to determine which antibiotics are effective against a particular bacterial strain.
- Bronchoscopy is a procedure in which a thin, lighted tube is inserted into the trachea and major airways. This allows the doctor to visualize the inside of the airways and take tissue samples if needed. Bronchoscopy may be performed in patients with severe pneumonia or if pneumonia worsens despite antibiotic treatment.
How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Sometimes pneumonia can be hard to diagnose. This is because it can cause some of the same symptoms as a cold or the flu. It may take time for you to realize that you have a more serious condition.
Your health care provider may use many tools to make a diagnosis:
- A medical history, which includes asking about your symptoms
- A physical exam, including listening to your lungs with a stethoscope
- Various tests, such as
- A chest x-ray
- Blood tests such as a complete blood count to see if your immune system is actively fighting an infection
- A Blood culture to find out whether you have a bacterial infection that has spread to your bloodstream
If you are in the hospital, have serious symptoms, are older, or have other health problems, you may also have more tests, such as:
- Sputum test, which checks for bacteria in a sample of your sputum or phlegm .
- Chest CT scan to see how much of your lungs is affected. It may also show if you have complications such as lung abscesses or pleural effusions.
- Pleural fluid culture, which checks for bacteria in a fluid sample that was taken from the pleural space
- Pulse oximetry or blood oxygen level test, to check how much oxygen is in your blood
- Bronchoscopy, a procedure used to look inside your lungs’ airways
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Bacterial Versus Viral Pneumonia In Adults
Symptoms of pneumonia can range from mild sometimes called walking pneumonia to severe. How serious your case of pneumonia depends on the particular germ causing pneumonia, your overall health, and your age.
Bacterial pneumonia: Symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can develop gradually or suddenly. Symptoms include:
- High fever
Additional symptoms appearing about a day later include:
- Higher fever
- Shortness of breath
Is Pneumonia Treated Any Differently In Children
Essentially no. Just like adults, bacterial causes of pneumonia in children may be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are not used to treat pneumonia caused by viruses. Flu-related pneumonia may be treated with antiviral medicine if caught early in the course of illness. Most cases of pneumonia are treated with comfort care measures that ease symptoms. These may include:
- Drinking more fluids.
- Getting more rest.
- Taking over-the-counter medicines for cough and acetaminophen for fever. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about giving medicines to your child.
- Using a cool mist humidifier in your childs room.
Pneumonia Can Be Fatal
When you acquire pneumonia, it could affect only one lung, both lungs, or spread from one to the other. It causes the air sacs in your lungs, also called alveoli, to become inflamed. This is what makes it difficult to breathe. Doctors typically treat pneumonia with antibiotics, but it remains the leading cause of infectious disease death in children under age five across the world. As with the flu, pneumonia can also be deadly for elderly people.
Smokers and those with asthma have a greater likelihood of catching all different strains of the disease. However, bacterial infection is the most common cause among adults in the United States.
How Is Walking Pneumonia Treated
Walking pneumonia is usually mild, does not require hospitalization and is treated with antibiotics . Several types of antibiotics are effective. Antibiotics that are used to treat walking pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae include:
- Macrolide antibiotics: Macrolide drugs are the preferred treatment for children and adults. Macrolides include azithromycin and clarithromycin . Over the past decade, some strains of Mycoplasma pneumoniae have become resistant to macrolide antibiotics, possibly due to the widespread use of azithromycin to treat various illnesses.
- Fluoroquinolones: These drugs include ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin . Fluoroquinolones are not recommended for young children.
- Tetracyclines: This group includes doxycycline and tetracycline. They are suitable for adults and older children.
Often, over-the-counter medications can also be taken to help relieve symptoms of nasal congestion, cough and loosen mucus buildup in the chest. If you have a fever:
- Drink more fluids
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