Friday, September 29, 2023

Can You Get Pneumonia More Than Once

Is Rsv Contagious Everything You Need To Know About This Virus

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As a family medicine physician at UCHealth Primary Care Estes Park, Dr. Richard Payden sees an increase in respiratory syncytial virus cases each fall and into the following spring.

As a father, hes dealt with this potentially serious virus firsthand.

My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter got RSV first, then my wife, then my six-month-old son, then myself over the course of four days, Payden said. The three oldest did OK with fevers, body aches and cough. My 6-month-old son initially was doing well, but about four days into his illness he was having respiratory distress with increased work of breathing, retractions and rapid breathing rate.

Payden took his son to the ER and after about four hours on oxygen, he and his son were able to go home, and his son is doing well now. But it was a stark reminder that this seasonal virus can affect the younger and older population just as seriously as COVID-19 and people need to be vigilant in protecting themselves.

Are Vaccines Available To Prevent Pneumonia

Yes, there are two types of vaccines specifically approved to prevent pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria. Similar to a flu shot, these vaccines wont protect against all types of pneumonia, but if you do come down with pneumonia, its less likely to be as severe or potentially life-threatening especially for people who are at increased risk for pneumonia.

  • Bacterial pneumonia: Two pneumonia vaccines, Pneumovax23® and Prevnar13®, protect against the most common causes of bacterial pneumonia.
  • Pneumovax23® protects against 23 different types of pneumococcal bacteria. It is recommended for all adults 65 years of age and older and children over 2 years of age who are at increased risk for pneumonia.
  • Prevnar13® protects against 13 types of pneumonia bacteria. It is recommended for all adults 65 years of age and older and children under 2 years of age. Ask your healthcare provider about these vaccines.
  • Viral pneumonia: Get a flu vaccine once every year. Flu vaccines are prepared to protect against that years virus strain. Having the flu can make it easier to get bacterial pneumonia.
  • If you have children, ask their doctor about other vaccines they should get. Several childhood vaccines help prevent infections caused by the bacteria and viruses that can lead to pneumonia.

    What Is The Prognosis For Double Pneumonia

    Pneumonia is a serious disease and can be life-threatening, whether one lung or both are infected. Double pneumonia can be fatal if it isnt treated. About 50,000 people die of pneumonia each year in the United States. Pneumonia is the eighth leading cause of death and is the leading infectious cause of death in the United States.

    In general, the more segments of your lungs that are infected, the more severe the disease. This is the case even if all the infected segments are in one lung.

    There is a possibility of complications, especially if you have an underlying illness or other high-risk factors. According to the American Thoracic Society , there may be long-term consequences of pneumonia, even for people who fully recover. Children who recover from pneumonia have an increased risk for chronic lung diseases. Also, adults who recover may have heart disease or weakened ability to think, and may be less able to be physically active.

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    What Does Rsv Look Like

    RSV can affect people of any age but infants and older adults are at increased risk of becoming seriously ill from RSV.

    Each year, about 58,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized for RSV, according to the CDC. Data also shows one to two children younger than 6 months with RSV out of every 100 children may need to be hospitalized.

    Children who are at an even greater risk for severe illness from RSV include:

    • Infants 6 months or younger.
    • Premature infants.
    • Children younger than 2 with chronic lung disease or congenital heart diseases.
    • Children who are immunocompromised.
    • Children with neuromuscular disorders, including those who have a hard time clearing mucus secretions or trouble swallowing.

    Most adults who get RSV have mild or no symptoms. Symptoms are consistent with upper respiratory tract infections and include cough, headache, fatigue and fever, and symptoms usually last fewer than five days.

    Adults at an even greater risk for severe illness from RSV include:

    • Adults 65 years old and older.
    • Those with chronic lung or heart diseases, including those with asthma, COPD or congestive heart failure.
    • Those considered immunocompromised.

    When Is Pneumonia Contagious

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    Pneumonia is contagious when the causative pathogens are expelled by an infected person by coughing out infected droplets. These expelled droplets contain the bacteria or virus that causes the pneumonia. These droplets contaminate the mouth or breathing tract of another individual to eventually infect their lungs.

    The approximate time when pneumonia becomes contagious varies with the type of infecting agent and may range from one to two days to weeks. In addition, some pneumonias are more highly contagious than others. For example, Mycobacterium and Mycoplasma organisms are highly contagious, but other types, including pneumococcal pneumonia, require optimal conditions to spread to another person and are weakly contagious.

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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.

    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.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia

    If you have pneumonia, youll have symptoms that are similar to having flu or a chest infection. Symptoms may develop gradually over a few days but can progress much faster.

    The main symptom is coughing. You may feel generally unwell, weak and tired, and youll probably have at least one of these symptoms too:

    • coughing up mucus that may become yellow or green
    • a high temperature you might also sweat and shiver
    • difficulty breathing or getting out of breath quicker than normal
    • chest pain or discomfort

    Even if you have pneumonia, you may not have all these symptoms.

    Tips For Regaining Your Strength After Severe Pneumonia

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    • Get plenty of rest
    • Slowly start moving around once you’re ready but don’t overdo it
    • Complete any treatments prescribed by your doctor
    • Eat a nutritious diet
    • Quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke
    • Limit exposure to throat irritants, including pollution and alcohol
    • Perform deep breathing exercises
    • Consult with your doctor before returning to exercise

    Aim to slowly work back into your usual routine and be sure to take note of any signs that the infection may be coming back.

    “Pneumonia can be incredibly taxing and there’s no one-size-fits-all to recovery. Some people feel better in about six weeks, but it can take several months for others to feel better after severe pneumonia,” adds Dr. Lee. “Most importantly, be patient with your body.”

    If your recovery is prolonged, a specialized program focused on pulmonary rehabilitation may help get you back on track.

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    How Should I Treat Rsv At Home

    Although there is no specific treatment for RSV, you can take steps to relieve symptoms.

    • Manage pain and fever with over-the-counter pain and fever reducers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Read doses instructions carefully and never administer aspirin to children.
    • Drink lots of water to prevent dehydration.
    • Ask your health care provider before giving your child any nonprescription cold medications as some ingredients are not safe for children.

    Cover Your Mouth And Nose

    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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    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.

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

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    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.

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    What Are The Complications Of Pneumonia

    Most people with pneumonia respond well to treatment, but pneumonia can be very serious and even deadly.

    You are more likely to have complications if you are an older adult, a very young child, have a weakened immune system, or have a serious medical problem like diabetes or cirrhosis. Complications may include:

    • Acute respiratory distress syndrome . This is a severe form of respiratory failure.

    • Lung abscesses. These are pockets of pus that form inside or around the lung. They may need to be drained with surgery

    • Respiratory failure. This requires the use of a breathing machine or ventilator.

    • This is when the infection gets into the blood. It may lead to organ failure.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Double Pneumonia

    The symptoms of double pneumonia are the same as for pneumonia in one lung.

    The symptoms are not necessarily more severe because both lungs are infected. Double pneumonia does not mean double seriousness. You can have a mild infection in both lungs, or a serious infection in both lungs.

    Symptoms can vary, depending on your age, general health, and the type of infection you have.

    Pneumonia symptoms include:

    Also Check: How Can I Treat Pneumonia At Home

    You Could Have Had Pneumonia And Not Known It

    According to Health, many people never even realize they have had a case of pneumoniaespecially if they had a mild case. Zachary Strasser, MD, one of the study authors and a Harvard postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts General, told Bloomberg News that it’s even common for cases of chronic pneumonia to go undiagnosed.

    According to the American Lung Association, this may be due to the fact that “pneumonia can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are so variable, and are often very similar to those seen in a cold or influenza.” The symptoms of pneumonia include cough, fever, shortness of breath, chest pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, and confusion. And for more up-to-date COVID news, .

    Persons With Inadequate Immunization Records

    Pneumonia in your water

    Children and adults lacking adequate documentation of immunization should be considered unimmunized and should be started on an immunization schedule appropriate for their age and risk factors. Pneumococcal vaccines may be given, regardless of possible previous receipt of the vaccines, as adverse events associated with repeated immunization have not been demonstrated. Refer to Immunization of Persons with Inadequate Immunization Records in Part 3 for additional information about vaccination of people with inadequate immunization records.

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    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.

    Problems That Could Happen After Getting Any Injected Vaccine

    • People sometimes faint after a medical procedure, including vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes can help prevent fainting and injuries caused by a fall. Tell your doctor if you or your child:
    • Feel dizzy
    • Have vision changes
    • Have ringing in the ears
  • Some people get severe pain in the shoulder and have difficulty moving the arm where the doctor gave the shot. This happens very rarely.
  • Any medicine can cause a severe allergic reaction. Such reactions from a vaccine are very rare, estimated at about 1 in a million shots. These types of reactions would happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.
  • As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a serious injury or death.
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    Concurrent Administration Of Vaccines

    Pneumococcal vaccines may be administered concomitantly with other vaccines, with the exception of a different formulation of pneumococcal vaccine . There should be at least an 8 week interval between a dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and a subsequent dose of Pneu-P-23 vaccine, and at least a 1 year interval between a dose of Pneu-P-23 vaccine and a subsequent dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine refer to Immunocompromised persons for information regarding administration of pneumococcal vaccines to HSCT recipients. Different injection sites and separate needles and syringes must be used for concurrent parenteral injections. Refer to Timing of Vaccine Administration in Part 1 for additional information about concurrent administration of vaccines.

    What Are The Possible Outcomes Of Recurrent Pneumonia

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    The prognosis depends on the underlying cause. Successful asthma therapy usually prevents further episodes of pneumonia. The average age of death for patients with CF is now 38.5 years and consistently increasing as new therapies become available. If aspiration can be eliminated or minimized, the recurrent pneumonia usually resolves. Successful assistance with airway clearance for patients with weakness or mucociliary clearance defects will also reduce the frequency of pneumonia.

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    What Other Disease/condition Shares Some Of These Symptoms

    Pneumonia is often diagnosed clinically without the utilization of a chest radiograph . If symptoms resolve as expected, a follow-up CXR may not be obtained even if there was an initial CXR at the time of diagnosis. For the child with recurrent chest symptoms, lack of serial CXRs can make distinguishing recurrent from persistent pneumonia challenging.

    If the radiographic abnormality is persistent, particularly in a specific area of the lung, a congenital anomaly or airway obstruction is more likely than if the abnormalities come and go and are found in different regions of the lung. Therefore, the evaluation of persistent may be different than for truly recurrent pneumonia.

    Common cause of recurrent pneumonia #2: Immunodeficiency. When the infections are limited to the upper and lower airways, the deficiency is usually a B-cell or partial B-cell deficiency. If the recurrent pneumonias are associated with significant infections outside the respiratory tract, the deficiency is usually T-cell or possibly neutrophil dysfunction. A clue that immunodeficiency may be the underlying cause is when the isolated organisms are opportunistic and may not occur in the immunocompetent host. Intravenous immunoglobulin infusion may help minimize the pneumonias if hypogammaglobulinemia is present.

    Treatment Of Pneumonia Recurrent Pneumonia In Children

    Type of treatment depends on the cause of pneumonia, severity of infection and age of child. Medication, both prescription and over the counter, is typically the most effective treatment.

    • Antibiotics: Antibiotics are medications that treat infections and are used to treat bacterial pneumonia.
    • Over the counter medications: Medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen are used to reduce a childs fever.
    • Hospitalization: Children may need to be hospitalized for more intense treatment if they have a rapid heat rate, rapid breathing, having difficulty breathing, have a low temperature, are dehydrated, younger than 2 months old.

    Treatment of recurrent pneumonia is typically aimed at treating the pneumonia itself since symptoms and complications are an immediate concern in children. Treatment typically follows the same course as single episodes of pneumonia with medications. Because underlying medical conditions usually exist, it is imperative to identify these conditions, assess risks and possible complications and tailor treatment accordingly. Once the pneumonia has resolved, treatment of the underlying cause may be necessary.

    Board certified pediatric pulmonologists Dr. Peter Schochet and Dr. Hauw Lie are dedicated to the care of infants, children and adolescents with acute or chronic respiratory disorders like recurrent pneumonia.


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