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Can You Catch Pneumonia In The Summer

When Summer Comes Around Millions Around The World Go Swimming In Oceans And Lakes Is It Safe

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Summer is almost here, and many of us will be heading to the beach to cool off in the ocean. Have you ever considered what you might be swimming in? According to the EPA, up to 3.5 million people in the U.S. become ill from contact with raw sewage from sanitary sewer overflows each year. Swimming in polluted water can cause stomach flu, skin rashes, pinkeye, respiratory infections, meningitis, hepatitis and even a form of pneumonia called Legionnaire’s disease.

There are a couple things you can do to decrease your risk of getting sick from swimming in the ocean. Flooding from storms can cause sewage runoff that can pollute costal bodies of water health officials recommend waiting at least 72 hours after a storm before going back into the water. Research from the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Project found an increased risk of infection for people swimming within 400 yards of a flowing storm drain, so be aware of your surroundings and avoid swimming near storm drains.

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What Is Bacterial Pneumonia

Bacteria are the most common cause of pneumonia in adults.

Bacterial pneumonia may follow a viral infection, like a cold or the flu . This type of pneumonia usually affects one area of the lung and is referred to as lobar pneumonia.

Types of bacteria that cause pneumonia include:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B

Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus, is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in adults, called pneumococcal pneumonia.

It may be prevented by a vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two pneumonia vaccines for adults 65 years and older: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, or Prevnar 13 , and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, or Pneumovax 23 .

According to the CDC:

  • You should receive a dose of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine first, followed at least one year later by a dose of the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine .
  • If you’ve already received any doses of PPSV23, the dose of PCV13 should be given at least one year after the most recent PPSV23 dose.
  • If you’ve already received a dose of the PCV13 at a younger age, another dose is not recommended.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae usually infects younger adults who work in crowded areas, such as schools, homeless shelters, or prisons.

Chlamydophila pneumoniae causes a mild pneumonia infection that usually affects people older than 60.

Other bacterial pneumonia symptoms include:

  • High fever

The Risk Diagnosis And Treatment

Pneumonia is more serious and potentially deadly in infants, adults over 65 and people with existing health conditions or a weakened immune system.

In addition to a health care provider taking a thorough history and conducting a physical exam, pneumonia can be diagnosed with tests used to look at the lungs, blood tests and analyzing cough-produced sputum.

Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia. In general, people improve within one to three weeks. Antibiotics can be used for bacterial pneumonia and other treatment includes fluids, rest, oxygen therapy and medicine for cough and fever.

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Whos At Risk For Pneumonia

Adults over the age of 65 and children younger than 2 are at a higher risk for pneumococcal pneumonia. Other factors can also increase a persons risk for developing pneumonia. Chronic lung disease, for example, increases a persons risk. COPD, asthma, and smoking all increase the risk for pneumonia, especially for those over the age of 65.

Why Does It Happen

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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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So Hows That Different Than Regular Pneumonia

Pneumonia is generally a more serious lung infection. It can also be caused by bacteria or viruses .

No matter the cause, the infection causes your immune system to fill the air sacs in the lungs with mucus, pus, and other fluids. This makes it difficult for oxygen to reach your blood.

Though the symptoms of bacterial pneumonia and viral pneumonia arent exactly the same, Dr. Chaisson says both tend to cause shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and feeling more tired than usual.

Home Care For Cat Pneumonia

Your cat will need plenty of rest as they recover from pneumonia at home. Set up a cozy place for them to relax away from other pets in the home. You’ll need to restrict their activity, although your veterinarian may recommend short bouts of exercise to help loosen mucus and clear the lungs.

Be sure your cat has plenty of fresh water available to help avoid dehydration. If your cat is not drinking from their water bowl as much as usual, you can try adding a little tuna water to make it more tempting. You can also offer them wet food to help increase their water intake since it has a high moisture content. Wet food may also stimulate your cat’s appetite and encourage them to eat more.

If your cat is on any medications, please follow the dosage instructions carefully to ensure that they are getting a safe and effective amount of the drug. Cats can be very sensitive, and you should never give them any medication without consulting with your veterinarian.

Read Also: How Often Do Adults Need Pneumonia Vaccine

What Is Viral Pneumonia

Viruses are responsible for about one-third of all pneumonias, and they’re the most common cause of pneumonia in children younger than age 5.

Viral pneumonias tend to clear up in about one to three weeks, but they can increase your risk for bacterial pneumonia.

Viral pneumonia is usually less serious than bacterial pneumonia.

At first, the symptoms of viral pneumonia may be similar to symptoms often associated with the flu, except you may experience a dry cough that does not produce phlegm. You may also develop a fever and headache.

But within a couple of days, these symptoms typically get worse.

Adults with viral pneumonia can also expect to develop:

  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle pain

The flu virus is the most common cause of viral pneumonia in adults, which tends to be more serious in people with heart or lung disease, senior citizens, and pregnant women.

Not only can influenza cause pneumonia, it can also predispose people to bacterial pneumonia yet another good reason to get the yearly flu shot.

Respiratory syncytial virus pneumonia is usually a mild infection that clears up in about a week or two. It can be more severe and is more common in young children and older adults. In fact, RSV is the most common cause of pneumonia in children younger than 12 months.

Cover Your Mouth And Nose

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While the preferred method for covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze is into a tissue, not everyone can get to tissues in time when the urge to cough or sneeze hits. If you have the urge to cough or sneezeand a tissue isnt availablethe next best thing is to cover your mouth or nose with the inside of your elbow.

Coughing or sneezing into your elbow will decrease the chances of your leaving traces of your infection on door handles, faucets, or anything else you touch.

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What Is Pneumococcal Disease

Pneumococcal disease is caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae . People with pneumococcal disease can spread the bacteria to others when they cough or sneeze.

Pneumococcus bacteria can cause infections in many parts of the body, including

  • Lungs
  • Brain and spinal cord tissue
  • Blood

Symptoms of pneumococcal infection depend on the part of the body affected. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, stiff neck, confusion, increased sensitivity to light, joint pain, chills, ear pain, sleeplessness, and irritability. In severe cases, pneumococcal disease can cause hearing loss, brain damage, and death. You can find a full list of symptoms for each part of the body that is affected on the symptoms and complications of pneumococcal disease page.

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

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Articles On Pneumonia Types

âWalking pneumonia” sounds like it could be the name of a sci-fi horror flick. But it’s actually the least scary kind of pneumonia. It can be milder than the other types, and you usually donât have to stay in the hospital. You could have walking pneumonia and not even know it.

How Do You Treat Pneumonia

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The only way to tell the difference between pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses is by getting a chest X-ray, which will show whether fluid and inflammation are present in the lungs, explains Dr. Dass. While the presence of fluid around the lungsin addition to the above symptomslikely indicates pneumonia, the fluid can also be a potential sign of heart or liver complications, kidney disease, or it could possibly be a side effect of certain cancers, according to Yale Medicine. “If you pneumonia, you should see your doctor as soon as possible to make the diagnosis and start treatment early,” says Dr. Dass.

Both Dr. Dass and Dr. Patel note that treatment depends on the cause and severity of pneumonia. Some people begin to feel better with 10-14 days of antibiotics, while others may need to be hospitalized and receive intravenous antibiotics and fluid replacement, explains Dr. Dass. That’s why getting to your doctor early is critical: “Most of the time, if caught early, it will mean less downtime, fewer complications, and a better prognosis,” explains Dr. Patel.

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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.

Check The Weather Pollen And Pollution Forecasts

To prepare for a heatwave, its a good idea to set up email alerts for hot weather. This way, youll know when its expected to be hot and you can see how long the hot weather will last.

Remember, high pollen and pollution levels can combine with heat and increase your chance of a flare-up of your symptoms. So, if you get hay fever, keep an eye on pollen levels and avoid going out when they are high. You can also check air pollution levels in your area for the next five days.

Read more about asthma and pollen.

Its a good idea to have a self-management plan in place to help you manage and understand your symptoms. Create a plan with the support of your GP or nurse.

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Favorite Orgs That Can Help Fight Pneumonia

Those over age 65 have a higher risk of getting pneumonia than younger adults. They may be especially susceptible to community-acquired pneumonia, spread among large populations of elderly people in settings such as assisted living facilities. This organization, devoted to finding the best products and services for seniors, publishes advice on how older adults should handle prevention and care.

Influenza is a common cause of pneumonia. Several national healthcare organizations and the CDC are collaborating in an effort called United Against the Flu to stress the importance of getting immunized. The groups website supplies resources and details on the vaccination.

Keeping Pneumonia From Spreading In Dogs

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Keep your dog with pneumonia away from all other pets, recommends Andersen. Bacterial pneumonia is quite contagious and is easily passed from dog to dog. If you have multiple dogs at home, isolate your pet to prevent the spread of the infection, she advises. Clean all toys, bedding and bowls that your sick pet may have contaminated.

Tell your dog walker they have the next one or two weeks off so your dog can rest.

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How Is Walking Pneumonia Diagnosed

Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, how long youve had them and if any other family members or people you regularly interact with are also ill with similar symptoms. He or she will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope to check for abnormal breath sounds. Your doctor may order chest X-rays to see if there is an infection in your lungs. Your blood or mucus might be tested to determine if your pneumonia is caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae, another bacteria, virus or fungus.

How Do You Prevent Pneumonia

Getting a flu shot and a pneumonia vaccine can help protect you against the bacteria, says Dr. Dass. “Our bodies can usually clear the virus or bacteria with lots of rest and good nutrition before it turns into pneumonia,” she explains. “However, with today’s increased stress levels and decreased sleep hours, our immune systems are not in optimal shape. Lack of rest, high stress, poor diet/nutrition, and sedentary lifestyle all help fuel the onset of pneumonia.”

Considering pneumonia is “one of the most common and lethal medical conditions doctors see,” it’s a very important topic to be aware of, adds Dr. Dass. “In the most recent National Health Statistics Report published in 2018, pneumonia accounted for 0.5 percent of all emergency room visits. If you take into account all emergency room visits or office visits where this was the main issue, this accounts for more than 4.5 million people.”

Both doctors agree that staying vaccinated and staying vigilant are crucial well beyond cold and flu season. Be sure to visit your doctor as soon as you feel something’s not quite right.

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Dogs Who’ve Lost Their Spunk Or Are Losing Weight Or Coughing May Have Bacterial Or Aspiration Pneumonia Here’s What Experts Say You Should Know About Spotting This Illness In Dogs

If youve noticed your dog doesnt have much spunk in his step, is losing weight or has been coughing, they might have pneumonia. While the condition is treatable, you dont want to waste time before getting the ol dog seen by your vet. To help keep your pup healthy, heres what you need to know about pneumonia in dogs.

How Is Walking Pneumonia Different From Regular Pneumonia

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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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Stages Of Pneumonia In Seniors

Anyone can get pneumonia with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Seniors may be more likely to get pneumonia and experience serious complications. Due to these higher risks, senior care providers need to recognize early pneumonia symptoms in seniors.

They also should understand the four stages of pneumonia so they can seek prompt treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.

Signs And Symptoms Of A Chest Infection

The main symptoms of a chest infection can include:

  • coughing up yellow or green phlegm , or coughing up blood
  • breathlessness or rapid and shallow breathing
  • wheezing
  • chest pain or tightness
  • feeling confused and disorientated

You may also experience more general symptoms of an infection, such as a headache, fatigue, sweating, loss of appetite, or joint and muscle pain.

Read Also: How To Treat Bronchitis And Pneumonia

Can Pneumonia Be Prevented

Check with your healthcare provider about getting immunizations. The flu is a common cause of pneumonia. Because of that, getting a flu shot every year can help prevent both the flu and pneumonia.

There is also a pneumococcal vaccine. It will protect you from a common form of bacterial pneumonia. Children younger than age 5 and adults ages 65 and older should get this shot.

The pneumococcal shot is also recommended for all children and adults who are at increased risk of pneumococcal disease due to other health conditions.

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