Lab Tests For Pneumonia
The need for more tests often depends on how severe your symptoms are, your age, and your overall health. In general, the sicker you are, the more tests you may need. This is especially true for older adults and infants. One example of a test you may have is the arterial blood gas test.
If you are very ill, have severe shortness of breath, or have a condition that increases your risk , your doctor may test your mucus. Tests include a Gram stain and a sputum culture.
Rapid urine test
This test can identify some bacteria that cause pneumonia. This can help guide treatment for pneumonia.
In people who have impaired immune systems, pneumonia may be caused by other organisms, including some forms of fungi, such as Pneumocystis jiroveci . This fungus often causes pneumonia in people who have AIDS. Some doctors may suggest an HIV test if they think that Pneumocystis jiroveci is causing the pneumonia.
Other lung tests
If you have severe pneumonia, you may need other tests, including tests to check for complications and to find out how well your immune system is working.
How Does The Flu Become Pneumonia
October 10, 2018 By Will Sowards
Come flu season, every person of all ages is at risk of influenza. Every region across the world is susceptible to the contagious respiratory illness. Being different than a common cold, the flu can take effect suddenly and can range from mild to severe in illness.
While many sick with the flu tend to recover within two weeks, some people can develop complications.
One of those complications can lead to pneumonia. According to Everyday Health, one-third of pneumonia cases develop from a respiratory virus, with the flu the most common of those.
Even if youve only contracted a mild case of influenza, the infection can severely weaken your immune system. Keep in mind that the virus even keeps your body from correctly taking in air.
According to Shape, the flu constricts and inflames the airways in your body. This would then, slow down the movement of air and hinder your ability to clear mucus and secretions. This inflammation can cause an increase in your bodys mucus production.
A buildup of bacteria would then form in your healthy body. Although the body would usually be able to fight the buildup away, influenza changes that. With a weakened immune system, your body may not be able to get over the foreign bacteria and viruses.
This is how those with influenza can easily turn their flu into something much worse pneumonia.
Did you know there were different types of pneumonia? Let us know in the comments, or via and .
Critical Role Of Pneumococcal Vaccine In Preventing Pneumonia
In children aged three months to four years, the most common type of bacterial pneumonia is Strep. pneumoniae. In children greater than age four, it remains in the top three most common types. The pneumococcal vaccine series, started at two months of age, significantly reduces the rates of bacterial pneumonia from Strep. Pneumoniae. The vaccine is usually administered during wellness or prevention visits and cannot be given to a child with a fever. This emphasizes the need for healthcare access globally.6
With global vaccination rates currently plateauing, the challenges of diagnosing and treating community acquired pneumonia are even more pertinent for prevention of severe respiratory illness. Vaccine uptake challenges can be overcome with global measures to increase the access and use of vaccines. Addressing vaccine use and providing education about common pneumonia symptoms can aid in early diagnosis of pneumonia and lower the rate of severe respiratory illness and prolonged hospitalization.
World Health Organization Health Topics. Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals: National programs and systems on improving vaccination demand and addressing hesitancy. 17 June 2020 update.
Popovsky EY, Florin TA. Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Childhood. Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences. 2020 B978-0-08-102723-3.00013-5. doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-102723-3.00013-5
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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.
What Is The Prognosis For Bacterial Pneumonia
The prognosis depends on the severity of disease and whether there are any predisposing factors. The prognosis is generally good for uncomplicated bacterial pneumonia. The prognosis for animals with predisposing factors depends on whether the risk factor can be treated or resolved. If the risk factors cannot be resolved, recurrent infections may occur. The prognosis for young or geriatric animals, patients with immunodeficiency diseases, or patients that are debilitated is guarded.
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How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Sometimes 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. To diagnose pneumonia, and to try to identify the germ that is causing the illness, your doctor will ask questions about your medical history, do a physical exam, and run some tests.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your signs and symptoms, and how and when they began. To help figure out if your infection is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, you may be asked some questions about possible exposures, such as:
- Any recent travel
- Exposure to other sick people at home, work or school
- Whether you have recently had another illness
Your doctor will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. If you have pneumonia, your lungs may make crackling, bubbling, and rumbling sounds when you inhale.
If your doctor suspects you may have pneumonia, they will probably recommend some tests to confirm the diagnosis and learn more about your infection. These may include:
- Blood tests to confirm the infection and to try to identify the germ that is causing your illness.
- Chest X-ray to look for the location and extent of inflammation in your lungs.
- Pulse oximetry to measure the oxygen level in your blood. Pneumonia can prevent your lungs from moving enough oxygen into your bloodstream.
- Sputum test on a sample of mucus taken after a deep cough, to look for the source of the infection.
Things That You Can Do To Help Your Child At Home Are
- Control the fever with the proper medicine and right strength for the age of your child. Fevers lower than 101° F do not need to be treated unless the child is uncomfortable .
- Give your child plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- See that your child gets lots of rest.
- Do not give over-the-counter cough medicines or other OTC medicines without asking the health provider first. The child needs to cough and bring up the phlegm. Coughing is the bodys way of clearing the infection from the lungs.
- Avoid exposing your child to tobacco smoke or other irritants in the air.
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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.
What Is The Outlook If I Have Aspiration Pneumonia
Most people who get aspiration pneumonia and get treatment will survive. The prognosis for aspiration pneumonia also depends on your overall health and other conditions that you may have and how sick you were when you started treatment.
Untreated aspiration pneumonia can be dangerous, resulting in things like lung abscesses or lung scarring. In fact, it can result in death.
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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.
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.
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Pneumonia Kills More Children Than Any Other Infectious Disease
Many people associate pneumonia with the elderly, but it is actually the biggest infectious killer of children worldwide. It claims the lives of over 800,000 children under five every year, including over 153,000 newborns, who are particularly vulnerable to infection. That means a child dies from pneumonia every 39 seconds and almost all of these deaths are preventable.
A child dies from pneumonia every 39 seconds. Almost all of these deaths are preventable
What causes pneumonia?
Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection of the lungs. It doesnt have one single cause it can develop from either bacteria, viruses or fungi in the air. When a child is infected, his lungs are filled with fluid and it becomes difficult to breathe. Children whose immune systems are immature or weakened such as by undernourishment, or diseases like HIV are more vulnerable to pneumonia.
What are the symptoms of pneumonia?
As pneumonia is an infection of the lungs, the most common symptoms are coughing, trouble breathing and fever. Children with pneumonia usually experience fast breathing, or their lower chest may draw in or retract when they inhale .
Is pneumonia contagious?
Pneumonia is contagious and can be spread through airborne particles . It can also be spread through other fluids, like blood during childbirth, or from contaminated surfaces.
How is pneumonia diagnosed in children?
What is the treatment for pneumonia?
Can pneumonia be prevented?
Is there a pneumonia vaccine?
What Is Walking Pneumonia
Walking pneumonia is a mild form of pneumonia . This non-medical term has become a popular description because you may feel well enough to be walking around, carrying out your daily tasks and not even realize you have pneumonia.
Most of the time, walking pneumonia is caused by an atypical bacteria called Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which can live and grow in the nose, throat, windpipe and lungs . It can be treated with antibiotics.
Scientists call walking pneumonia caused by mycoplasma atypical because of the unique features of the bacteria itself. Several factors that make it atypical include:
- Milder symptoms
- Natural resistance to medicines that would normally treat bacterial infections
- Often mistaken for a virus because they lack the typical cell structure of other bacteria
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What Is The Treatment For Bacterial Pneumonia
The appropriate antibiotic treatment is determined by the results of the culture and sensitivity tests. These tests identify the specific bacterial species causing the infection and which type of antibiotics will combat this infection. Since the results of culture and sensitivity testing will not be available immediately, your veterinarian may begin treatment with a broad-spectrum antibiotic, such as doxycycline or amoxicillin, while awaiting the test results. It may be necessary to change the medication once the results are available. Your veterinarian will choose the appropriate antibiotics for your dog’s particular situation.
“Medications may be required for a prolonged period of time, depending on the specific type of infection and the seriousness of the condition.”
If your dog has respiratory distress or is dehydrated or anorexic , hospitalization for oxygen therapy and/or intravenous fluids and medications may be necessary.
If your dog is stable enough to be treated as an outpatient, your veterinarian may also prescribe bronchodilators, expectorants, or other medications to control specific symptoms. Medications may be required for a prolonged period of time, depending on the specific type of infection and the seriousness of the condition.
What Increases Your Risk
You are more likely to get pneumonia if you:
- Smoke. Cigarette smoking is a strong risk factor for pneumonia in healthy young people.
- Have another medical condition, especially lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma.
- Are younger than 1 year of age or older than 65.
- Have an impaired immune system.
- Take medicine called a proton pump inhibitor that reduces the amount of stomach acid.footnote 3, footnote 4
- Drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
- Recently had a cold or the flu.
You are more likely to have complications of pneumonia and need to go to the hospital if you:
- Are older than 65.
- Have some other illness , or have gone to the hospital for a medical problem within the last 3 months.
- Have had your spleen removed or do not have a working spleen .
- Have an alcohol use problem.
- Have a weak immune system.
- Reside in a place where people live close together, such as a university dorm or nursing home.
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Can I Prevent Pneumonia
The routine vaccinations that most people receive as kids help prevent certain types of pneumonia and other infections. If you have a chronic illness, such as sickle cell disease, you may have received extra vaccinations and disease-preventing antibiotics to help prevent pneumonia and other infections caused by bacteria.
People should get a pneumococcal vaccination if they have diseases that affect their immune system , are 65 years or older, or are in other high-risk groups. Depending on the bugs that are likely to affect them, these people also may get antibiotics to prevent pneumonia, as well as antiviral medicine to prevent or lessen the effects of viral pneumonia.
Doctors recommend that everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu shot. That’s because someone with the flu could then come down with pneumonia. Call your doctor’s office or check your local health department to see when these vaccines are available.
Because pneumonia is often caused by germs, a good way to prevent it is to keep your distance from anyone you know who has pneumonia or other respiratory infections. Use separate drinking glasses and eating utensils wash your hands often with warm, soapy water and avoid touching used tissues and paper towels.
You also can stay strong and help avoid some of the illnesses that might lead to pneumonia by eating as healthily as possible, getting a minimum of 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night, and not smoking.
Urgent Advice: Get Urgent Medical Attention If:
- you have severe symptoms such as rapid breathing, chest pain or confusion
Pneumonia affects around 8 in 1,000 adults each year. It’s more widespread in autumn and winter.
Pneumonia can affect people of any age. It’s more common and can be more serious in certain groups of people, such as the very young or the elderly. People in these groups may need hospital treatment if they develop pneumonia.
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How Fast Can A Common Cold Progress/develop Into Pneumonia
I know that it all depends on the health of the individual, but typically speaking how fast can a common cold progress and develop into pneumonia?
After how many days of enduring chest congestion and coughing up mucus, from what appears to be a typical cold, should one be concerned that it may be pneumonia? Is three days too soon?
- 1Impossible to answer. Suspicion would be based on symptoms, not time. There is no minimum or maximum time, nor is it a given it will happen at all. Carey GregoryApr 19, 2017 at 13:41
- Microbes can divide every 20 minutes, so a theoretical minimum starting from no infection to a severe infection where the number of microbes is an order of magnitude larger than has been introduced at the start would be of the order of half a day.
First, the definitions: A common cold is a viral infection of the nose and throat. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. Tracheitis and bronchitis can be refered as a “chest cold” but not common cold .
Neither a common nor chest cold are necessary steps in developing pneumonia. You can get pneumonia without having a cold. Here’s a MedlinePlus article about viral pneumonia that does not even mention runny nose or sneezing, which are typical common cold symptoms.
The bottom line is that you may not be able to make a diagnosis from timing but from symptoms, as Carey Gregory mentioned in the comment. In a common or chest cold, you usually have no fever and in pneumonia you usually have it .