Is There A Vaccine For Pneumonia
There isnt a vaccine for all types of pneumonia, but 2 vaccines are available. These help prevent pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria. The first is recommended for all children younger than 5 years of age. The second is recommended for anyone age 2 or older who is at increased risk for pneumonia. Getting the pneumonia vaccine is especially important if you:
- Are 65 years of age or older.
- Have certain chronic conditions, such as asthma, lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, sickle cell disease, or cirrhosis.
- Have a weakened immune system because of HIV/AIDS, kidney failure, a damaged or removed spleen, a recent organ transplant, or receiving chemotherapy.
- Have cochlear implants .
The pneumococcal vaccines cant prevent all cases of pneumonia. But they can make it less likely that people who are at risk will experience the severe, and possibly life-threatening, complications of pneumonia.
When Would I Need To Be Hospitalized For Pneumonia
If your case of pneumonia is more severe, you may need tostay in the hospital for treatment. Hospital treatments may include:
- Fluids, antibiotics and other medicines given through an IV
- Breathing treatments and exercises to help loosen mucus
People most likely to be hospitalized are those who are most frail and/or at increased risk, including:
- Babies and young children
- People with weakened immune systems
- People with health conditions that affect the heart and lungs
It may take six to eight weeks to return to a normal level of functioning and well-being if youve been hospitalized with pneumonia.
When To Call The Doctor
You should call your childs doctor if your child:
- Has trouble breathing or is breathing much faster than usual
- Has a bluish or gray color to the fingernails or lips
- Is older than 6 months and has a fever over 102°F
- Is younger than 6 months and has a temperature over 100.4°F.
- Has a fever for more than a few days after taking antibiotics
When your child should stay home and return to school or childcare
Don’t Miss: How To Know If You Have Bacterial Pneumonia
What Are The Main Differences Between Bacterial And Viral Pneumonia
Common symptoms of pneumonia include3
- difficulty breathing
- increased breathing rate
When a patient presents with these symptoms, the next step is to examine the lungs with a stethoscope. With pneumonia, decreased breath sounds, wheezing, or crackles on listening to the lungs, are all indications that can help point towards a diagnosis. The next step is to order a radiograph or X-ray if pneumonia is suspected.
The radiograph still remains the reference standard for a medical diagnosis of pneumonia, and also helps to differentiate between bacterial and viral pneumonia. However, a combination of clinical symptoms, exam findings, and imaging is the best way to uncover the most likely culprit.3,4
How Is Bacterial Pneumonia Treated
Treatment depends on what caused your bacterial pneumonia and how bad your symptoms are. You may need any of the following:
- Antibiotics help treat a bacterial infection.
- Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor’s order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines you are using to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly. Do not use more than 4 grams total of acetaminophen in one day.
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor’s order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
- Airway clearance techniques are exercises to help remove mucus so you can breathe more easily. Your healthcare provider will show you how to do the exercises. These exercises may be used along with machines or devices to help decrease your symptoms.
- Respiratory support is given to help you breathe. You may receive oxygen to increase the level of oxygen in your blood. You may also need a machine to help you breathe.
Read Also: Does Walgreens Give Pneumonia Shots
How Do You Get Bacterial Pneumonia And Other Lung Bacteria
How do you get bacterial pneumonia? How does the bacteria get to the lungs? Can you prevent it? Learn all of the important things!
The presence of bacteria in the lungs often causes symptoms such as coughing, pain when breathing, fever, and malaise. It is essential to know the clinical picture of bacterial pneumonia to end them as soon as possible.
Symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fever, nausea or vomiting are indicative of the presence of bacteria in the lungs. Although these microorganisms are essential for the optimal functioning of human physiological systems, their presence in these types of organs leads to clinical pictures that are serious.
Do you know why these bacteria can infiltrate in the lung area? Are you in a risk group? Knowing more about it is key when dealing with these diseases, since it allows taking preventive measures. Because of this, here we tell you everything you need to know about pneumonia of bacterial origin.
What’s The Link Between Covid
A quick refresher first: COVID-19 is a serious respiratory illness caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. It can lead to a range of intense symptoms, including a cough, fever, trouble breathing, and loss of taste or smell, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Pneumonia is an infection of the tiny air sacs in the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness in people, the CDC says.
Some patients with COVID-19 develop pneumoniain fact, the World Health Organization first called the virus -infected pneumonia , before shortening the name to COVID-19. The SARS-CoV-2 virus was also first identified in Wuhan, China due to cases of “pneumonia of unknown etiology,” or unknown cause, the WHO reported in January 2020.
It’s not uncommon to develop pneumonia as the result of any virus, Raymond Casciari, MD, a pulmonologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, tells Health. In the case of COVID-19, the virus can damage your alveoli and cause fluid to build in your lungs as your body fights the infection, he explains. That can also lead to the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome , which is a serious form of respiratory failure that makes the alveoli fill with fluid. “The immune system starts attacking the lung itself, which results in ARDS,” Dr. Casciari says.
RELATED: Why Do Some People Die From Pneumonia?
You May Like: Pneumonia Vaccine After 65 Years Old
How Can I Tell If I Have Pneumonia Versus The Common Cold Or The Flu
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.
How Does Your Upper Airway Defend Against Pneumonia
Your nose is your first line of defense against pneumonia. Nasal hair traps larger droplets and filters the air. Besides the visible hair, the inside of your nose also has small microscopic hair-like objects called cilia. These cilia are constantly moving in a sweeping manner. They trap bacteria and sweep them away.
Cilia are present in your airway all the way from your nose to deep inside your lungs. Anything that affects cilia and their ability to sweep away bacteria makes it easier for bacteria to invade deeper into your lungs, causing pneumonia.
You May Like: Does Pneumonia Cause Fluid Around The Heart
Limit Contact With Others
One of the best things you can do when recovering from pneumonia is to limit your contact with others. As weve learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemicwhich can cause viral pneumoniastaying at least six feet away from others reduces the amount of viral or bacterial content they are exposed to as you breathe or talk.
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.
Don’t Miss: Can Pneumonia Cause Increased Heart Rate
Are There Bacteria In The Lungs
With everything said so far, you may have come to the same conclusion as us there are bacteria in the lungs, but not normally. Of course, like any surface in contact with the outside, areas such as the nasal cavity, nasopharynx and larynx have a bacterial community that is harmless for humans.
When these microorganisms occur in the internal respiratory tract, a clinical picture of pneumonia occurs. Regardless of age or sex, anyone can get this condition, although different statistical studies highlight that it is more common in neonates.
HIV patients are also at special risk for this disease, since it has been determined that they are five times more likely to contract bacterial pneumonia than an HIV negative person.
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.
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.
You May Like: How Often Do You Take A Pneumonia Shot
How Do You Treat Pneumonia
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.
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
Recommended Reading: Is The Pneumonia Vaccine A One Time Shot
What Are The Treatments For Pneumonia
Treatment for pneumonia depends on the type of pneumonia, which germ is causing it, and how severe it is:
- Antibiotics treat bacterial pneumonia and some types of fungal pneumonia. They do not work for viral pneumonia.
- In some cases, your provider may prescribe antiviral medicines for viral pneumonia
- Antifungal medicines treat other types of fungal pneumonia
You may need to be treated in a hospital if your symptoms are severe or if you are at risk for complications. While there, you may get additional treatments. For example, if your blood oxygen level is low, you may receive oxygen therapy.
It may take time to recover from pneumonia. Some people feel better within a week. For other people, it can take a month or more.
When Should I See My Doctor
Pneumonia can be life-threatening if left untreated, especially for certain at-risk people. You should call your doctor if you have a cough that wont go away, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a fever. You should also call your doctor if you suddenly begin to feel worse after having a cold or the flu.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Pneumonia Out Of Lungs
Etiology Of Bacterial Pneumonia
Although pneumonia may be caused by myriad pathogens, a limited number of agents are responsible for most cases, Most authors categorize bacterial pneumonias by their infectious agents, which include pneumococcal agents Haemophilus influenzae Klebsiella, Staphylococcus, and Legionella species gram-negative organisms and aspirated micro-organisms. Microaspiration of organisms that colonize the upper respiratory tract and mucosal surfaces is probably the most common mode of infection. Some agents, notably Staphylococcus species, may be spread hematogenously.
Signs And Symptoms Of Bacterial Pneumonia
Cough, particularly cough productive of sputum, is the most consistent presenting symptom of bacterial pneumonia and may suggest a particular pathogen, as follows:
Streptococcus pneumoniae: Rust-colored sputum
Pseudomonas, Haemophilus, and pneumococcal species: May produce green sputum
Klebsiella species pneumonia: Red currant-jelly sputum
Anaerobic infections: Often produce foul-smelling or bad-tasting sputum
Signs of bacterial pneumonia may include the following:
Hyperthermia or hypothermia
Use of accessory respiratory muscles
Tachycardia or bradycardia
Physical findings may include the following:
Adventitious breath sounds, such as rales/crackles, rhonchi, or wheezes
Examination findings that may indicate a specific etiology include the following:
Bradycardia: May indicate a Legionella etiology
Periodontal disease: May suggest an anaerobic and/or polymicrobial infection
Cutaneous nodules: May suggest Nocardia infection
See Clinical Presentation for more detail.
Recommended Reading: Why Does Hip Fracture Cause Pneumonia
What Happens When Bacteria Reach The Air Sacs
Once bacteria reach the deep air sacs, they face their first battle with your immune system. Your air sacs are guarded by immune cells called macrophages. Macrophages are immune cells that eat up anything harmful that makes it to the air sacs. After eating bacteria, macrophages kill them inside the cells. Killing of bacteria takes time, and macrophages cant eat any new bacteria until the majority of eaten-up bacteria have been destroyed and broken down.
When the load of bacteria reaching the air sacs is too much, macrophages cant keep up with bacteria. When that happens, bacteria roam freely inside air sacs, getting ready to grow and multiply. However, this is still too early to get pneumonia. Your immune system can still ward off bacteria, and you might not actually get pneumonia.
There are certain things that can weaken your macrophages and make you more susceptible to getting pneumonia. Alcohol abuse is the most common one. Multiple studies have identified alcoholism as a cause of significant macrophage dysfunction. Alcoholics are at a significantly higher risk of getting pneumonia.
Poor nutrition is another cause of macrophage dysfunction. It is less common in the United States, but happens frequently in developing countries. A lack of zinc in the diet has been specifically linked to dysfunctional macrophages.