Description of Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an infection in one or both of the lungs and is usually caused due to bacterial or viral infection.
Causes and Risk Factors
Common causes of pneumonia include:
1. Infection due to bacteria, viruses, and fungi
2. Inhalation of a liquid or chemical
People at risk include:
1. Older than 65 or younger than 2 years of age
2. Already have health problems
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of pneumonia vary from mild to severe. Some common symptoms include:
1. Have a high fever
2. Have shaking chills
3. Have a cough with phlegm that does not improve or gets worse
4. Develop shortness of breath with normal daily activities
5. Have chest pain when you breathe or cough
6. Feel suddenly worse after a cold or the flu
1. Your doctor may ask you for your medical history.
2. Your doctor may examine you physically and suggest a few laboratory tests.
Treatment depends on what kind of infection the person has.
1. If it is a bacterial infection, antibiotics should help to treat it.
2. If it is a viral pneumonia, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medicine to treat it.
1. Preventing pneumonia is always better than treating it. Vaccines are available to prevent pneumococcal pneumonia and the flu.
2. Other preventive measures include washing your hands frequently and not smoking.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Frequently Asked Questions about Pneumonia
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