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.
Bacterial Vs Viral Pneumonia Symptoms
Bacteria and viruses are the most common causes of pneumonia. Fungi and parasites can sometimes cause it.
When the cause is bacteria, the illness can come on either slowly or quickly. It tends to be more serious than other types.
When a virus causes your pneumonia, youâre more likely to notice symptoms over several days. Early signs will look like the flu such as fever, dry cough, headache, and weakness but get worse in a day or two.
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.
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What To Expect By Age And Health
Here is how age can affect your recovery from pneumonia:
- Infants under the age of 6 months are typically hospitalized for pneumonia out of an abundance of caution.
- Children over the age of 6 months are more likely to be treated at home, provided they are typically healthy.
- Older adults may take longer to bounce back from pneumonia since our immune system naturally weakens the older we get, especially if you have a preexisting health condition. Its also more common for the elderly and chronically ill to be hospitalized for pneumonia since the rate of complications and mortality increases for those over the age of 65.
Medical History And Physical Exam
Your provider will ask about your symptoms and when they began. They will also ask whether you have any risk factors for pneumonia. You may also be asked about:
- Exposure to sick people at home, school, or work or in a hospital
- Flu or pneumonia vaccinations
- Past and current medical conditions and whether any have gotten worse recently
- Recent travel
- Exposure to birds and other animals
During your physical exam, your provider will check your temperature and listen to your lungs with a stethoscope.
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Preventing The Spread Of Pneumonia
You can help prevent the spread of a pneumonia by taking some simple hygiene precautions.
- washing your hands regularly and thoroughly, particularly after touching your nose and mouth, and before handling food
- coughing and sneezing into a tissue, then throwing it away immediately and washing your hands
- not sharing cups or kitchen utensils with others
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.
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Why Does Recovery Take So Long
Almost everyone who comes down with pneumonia will ask themselves or their healthcare provider at least once, Why does it take so long to recover from pneumonia? After all, you felt better within a few days of starting your antibiotic or, in some cases, steroid treatment. Like everything else in medicine, there are many reasons why it takes so long to recover.
When bacteria enters your body, your body goes into defense mode to remove it. Somewhere along the line, you start your antibiotics, and in a few days, you feel better. This improvement is because the bacteria has been dealt with. However, your body is now in cleanup mode, removing all the debrislike the mucus in your lungs.
Your body starts working overtime to clear out all the trash left behind. Your body is using multiple mechanisms to move the mucus out of your lungs. This movement is why you experience a productive cough.
What Causes Pneumonia
There are more than 30 different causes of pneumonia, and theyre grouped by the cause. The main types of pneumonia are:
Bacterial pneumonia. This type is caused by various bacteria. The most common is Streptococcus pneumoniae. It usually occurs when the body is weakened in some way, such as by illness, poor nutrition, old age, or impaired immunity, and the bacteria are able to work their way into the lungs. Bacterial pneumonia can affect all ages, but you are at greater risk if you abuse alcohol, smoke cigarettes, are debilitated, have recently had surgery, have a respiratory disease or viral infection, or have a weakened immune system.
Viral pneumonia. This type is caused by various viruses, including the flu , and is responsible for about one-third of all pneumonia cases. You may be more likely to get bacterial pneumonia if you have viral pneumonia.
Mycoplasma pneumonia. This type has somewhat different symptoms and physical signs and is referred to as atypical pneumonia. It is caused by the bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae. It generally causes a mild, widespread pneumonia that affects all age groups.
Other pneumonias. There are other less common pneumonias that may be caused by other infections including fungi.
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How Long Does It Last
It takes a certain amount of time to start to feel sick after getting exposed to a germ. This length of time is called the incubation period, and it depends on many things, especially which bug is causing the illness.
With influenza pneumonia, for example, someone may become sick as soon as 12 hours or as long as 3 days after exposure to the flu virus. But with walking pneumonia, a person may not feel it until 2 to 3 weeks after becoming infected.
Most types of pneumonia clear up within a week or two, although a cough can linger for several weeks more. In severe cases, it may take longer to completely recover.
Are Side Effects Associated With The Pneumonia Vaccine
Side effects of PCV13 in children include drowsiness, temporary loss of appetite, or redness, swelling, or tenderness where the shot was given. Mild fever and irritability are other common side effects. Adults receiving pneumococcal vaccines have reported pain, redness, rash, and swelling where the shot was given also mild fever, fatigue, headache, chills, or muscle pain.
Any type of vaccine has the potential to cause an allergic reaction, which can be severe, but this side effect is rare. This would happen within minutes to a few hours after receiving the vaccine.
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What Stands Out About Yale Medicines Approach To Pneumonia
Pneumonia is a common infection in both children and adults and can often be easily treated. However, if specialized care is required, Yale Medicine physicians practice at both Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale New Haven Childrens Hospital.
Furthermore, our researchers are involved in developing ways to more quickly and accurately diagnose lung infections through the Yale Center for Pulmonary Infection Research and Treatment . We dont tend to think of pneumonia as a chronic condition. But some patients end up with longer-term problems, says Dr. Dela Cruz, director of the CPIRT. The center focuses on finding new potential treatment options and running clinical trials to better understand the disease.
Whats The Outlook For People With Pneumonia
The time that it takes to recover from pneumonia can vary by individual. Some may find that they can go back to their normal routine in about a week. Others may need some additional time to recover. Sometimes tiredness and fatigue can linger for several weeks.
Illness may also be more severe in at-risk groups like young children, older adults, and people with underlying conditions. These groups often require hospitalization and close monitoring through their treatment and recovery.
What about the different causes of pneumonia? The time until symptoms improve can also depend on whats causing your infection.
In bacterial pneumonia, you may begin to feel better after several days of antibiotic treatment. Viral pneumonia typically improves in while fungal pneumonia may require taking antifungal medications for weeks or even months.
what to do while recovering
Remember, the germs that cause pneumonia can be contagious. While youre recovering, be sure to do the following:
- limit contact with others
- cover your nose and mouth when you cough
- wash your hands frequently
- throw away any used tissues promptly in a covered container
Be sure to speak to your doctor about when you can go back to your normal activities. Your doctor may also want to schedule a follow-up chest X-ray to make sure that your infection has completely cleared.
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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.
How Is Viral Pneumonia Treated
Viral pneumonias are more likely to be treated at home, and not at the hospital.
Viral pneumonia caused by the flu can be treated with an antiviral medication called Tamiflu , but for many other viral pneumonias, your doctor can only treat the symptoms. This means drinking lots of fluids, eating well, resting, taking medication for pain or fever, and treating breathing difficulties.
Viral pneumonia may take one to three weeks to clear completely.
Mycoplasmal pneumonia is caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which was originally thought to be a virus or a fungus, but has since been classified as a bacteria. Also called atypical pneumonia, its a mild and common type thats most likely to affect children and young adults.
This type of pneumonia can be treated with several types of antibiotics, and usually doesnt require hospitalization.
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What Is The Treatment
As in all cases of bacterial infections, antibiotics will be the drugs of choice. The doctor, after determining whether it is Gram positive or Gram negative bacteria, may suggest the use of several medications, such as amoxicillin, cephalosporin or doxycycline.
As there are various treatments, it is necessary to establish the exact gender of the microorganisms causing the disease. With this information, it is possible to choose the most effective therapeutic options for each case.
What to remember about bacteria in the lungs?
Strange as it may be, according to the American Lung Association, there is a vaccine against pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, the most prevalent pathogen.
Doctors recommend it for infants under two years of age, and for adults over 65, as they are typical vulnerable groups. In addition, at the risk of contracting it in another age range, the prognosis is positive if it is treated early and complications do not occur.
Bacteria are essential microorganisms, as they provide protection against pathogens in many of the bodys systems. However, its lack of control can cause health problems.
Therefore, with any suspicion of bacterial infection, it is essential to see a doctor immediately. With prompt treatment, the chances of overcoming the bacterial disease are quite high.
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How Can You Tell If Pneumonia Is Viral Or Bacterial
While the process of combining the presence of respiratory symptoms with an abnormal exam and X-ray helps to delineate the cause of pneumonia, the only gold standard test to confirm the presence of a specific pathogen is a culture (a sample of respiratory mucous secretions or blood that is analyzed in the lab for the
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Can Dogs Cause Pneumonia In Humans
Though its commonly spread through improperly cooked meats, C.
jejuni is also present in the feces of cats and dogs, where it can spread to humans.
When inhaled by humans, symptoms can include fever, headache, chills, and pneumonia.
In rare cases it can also lead to hepatitis, arthritis, and respiratory failure.
Pneumonia Vs Cold And Flu Symptoms
Itâs tricky, because pneumonia can be a complication of colds and flu. This happens when the germs that cause those common illnesses get into your lungs. You might be feeling better, but then you start getting symptoms again and this time, they can be a lot worse.
Cold symptoms tend to start slowly. Youâre more likely to sneeze and have a runny nose and sore throat than with either the flu or pneumonia. Colds donât usually cause a fever in adults.
The top clue that you have the flu is that the symptoms come on strong, seemingly out of nowhere. You may have:
- Fever above 100.4 F
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Who Is Most At Risk For Getting Pneumonia
People who have an increased risk of pneumonia include:
- People over the age of 65 and infants under age 2. The weakening immune system of older people makes them less able to fight off illnesses. Similarly, the immune system of infants is still developing and not at full-strength, making them more susceptible to infection.
- People with a health-caused weakened immune system. Examples include:
- People who are receiving chemotherapy
- Transplanted organ recipients
- People with autoimmune disease and who are taking medications that suppress the immune system.
How Can I Manage My Symptoms
- Rest as needed. Rest often while you recover. Slowly start to do more each day.
- Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Liquids help thin your mucus, which may make it easier for you to cough it up.
- Do not smoke. Avoid secondhand smoke. Smoking increases your risk for pneumonia. Smoking also makes it harder for you to get better after you have had pneumonia. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
- Use a cool mist humidifier to increase air moisture in your home. This may make it easier for you to breathe and help decrease your cough.
- Keep your head elevated. You may be able to breathe better if you lie down with the head of your bed up.
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How Common Is Pneumonia
Approximately 1 million adults in the United States are hospitalized each year for pneumonia and 50,000 die from the disease. It is the second most common reason for being admitted to the hospital childbirth is number one. Pneumonia is the most common reason children are admitted to the hospital in the United States. Seniors who are hospitalized for pneumonia face a higher risk of death compared to any of the top 10 other reasons for hospitalization.