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
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
Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
The management of pneumonia requires an interprofessional team. The reason is that most patients are managed as outpatients, but if not properly treated, the morbidity and mortality are high.
Besides administering antibiotics, these patients often require chest physical therapy, a dietary consult, physical therapy to help regain muscle mass, and a dental consult. The key is to educate the patient on the discontinuation of smoking and abstaining from alcohol.
Patients need to be referred to a dietitian to ensure that they are eating healthy.
Further, the clinicians should encourage patients to get appropriate influenza and pneumococcal vaccines. The pharmacist should teach about antibiotic compliance and ensure that the patient is prescribed the right antibiotics aimed at the target organism. An infectious disease specialty-trained pharmacist is particularly helpful in assisting the team with difficult antibiotic treatment choices. Nursing can counsel on the appropriate dosing and administration of medications and answer patient questions, as well as charting treatment progress, and reporting any issues to the clinician managing the case.
Finally, it is important to educate the patient to follow up with clinicians if they want a complete resolution of the infectious process. Only with open communication between the interprofessional team can the morbidity of pneumonia be lowered.
Which Type Of Pneumonia Is The Most Serious
Types of pneumonia that carry a higher risk
- Viral. Viral pneumonia is typically a milder disease and symptoms occur gradually.
- Bacterial. These pneumonias are often more severe.
- Fungal. Fungal pneumonia is typically more common in people with a weakened immune system and these infections can be very serious.
How To Prevent Catching Pneumonia From Someone Who Has It
Because viral and bacterial lung infections can be highly contagious, its important to try and prevent the spread of pneumonia.
For example, you can prevent catching an infectious respiratory infection if you stay away from people who are showing symptoms of the cold or flu like coughing and sneezing. Another way to prevent catching pneumonia is to wash your hands often. This helps to stop the bacteria and viruses that cause pneumonia spreading by getting into your respiratory tract.18
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Diagnosis Of Pneumonia In Dogs
If your dog is sick, your veterinarian will typically start the visit by reviewing your dog’s medical history and conducting a nose-to-tail physical exam. This exam will include taking their temperature to check for fever and listening closely to the lungs with a stethoscope to detect any abnormal sounds.
Your veterinarian may also need to run additional diagnostic tests to determine what is exactly wrong, such as blood work, urinalysis, and X-rays of the chest and lungs. If it looks like it could be pneumonia, your veterinarian may wash the trachea with fluid, which allows them to collect and identify the type of bacteria that may be causing the infection. Your dog will be sedated or put under anesthesia during this treatment.
What Can I Do To Feel Better If I Have Pneumonia
- Finish all medications and therapies prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking antibiotics when you start feeling better. Continue taking them until no pills remain. If you dont take all your antibiotics, your pneumonia may come back.
- If over-the-counter medicines to reduce fever have been recommended , take as directed on the label. Never give aspirin to children.
- Drink plenty of fluids to help loosen phlegm.
- Quit smoking if you smoke. Dont be around others who smoke or vape. Surround yourself with as much clean, chemical-free air as possible.
- Use a humidifier, take a steamy shower or bath to make it easier for you to breathe.
- Get lots of rest. Dont rush your recovery. It can take weeks to get your full strength back.
If at any time you start to feel worse, call your doctor right away.
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How To Prevent Pneumonia In Babies
The following steps help keep pneumonia away from your baby:
Research suggests that breastfed infants have a 47% lower risk than infants who rely on formula as their primary source of nourishment . Breastfeeding also protects against asthma, which increases the risk of pneumonia . So it is good to continue breastfeeding for a while, even when your baby switches to solids.
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.
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Is Pneumonia Contagious In Dogs
As with canine influenza, you’re not likely to contract pneumonia from your dog. However, bacterial and viral pneumonia can be transmitted easily between dogs, especially if they are very young, older, or have a compromised immune system. If you have multiple dogs in the home, you will need to separate the healthy ones from your sick pooch.
You should also thoroughly clean all bedding, bowls, and gear, such as leashes, collars, and harnesses, to help avoid spreading the disease. In addition, be sure to wash your hands after handling your sick dog and consider wearing a protective garment over your clothing to help avoid spreading the disease that way.
How Do You Get Pneumonia
Have you ever been told to bundle up to avoid catching pneumonia? Or told a friend or family member not to walk outside with wet hair because he or she could get it? It might surprise you to find out that neither cold weather nor wet hair can cause you to catch pneumonia. In fact, pneumonia in itself isnt contagious, so you cant really catch it at all.
If you are wondering how do you get pneumonia, or have any other questions about this condition, FastMed can help. We are open 365 days a year to provide treatment for non-life-threatening illness and injuries, as well as ready to answer all of your health related questions.
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Is Pneumonia Contagious After Antibiotics
The answer to the question: is pneumonia contagious after antibiotics? depends on the type of pneumonia that is causing your cough.
Doctors often prescribe antibiotics for bacterial infections of the lungs or for viral pneumonia that has turned into bacterial pneumonia. Doctors from the National Health Service say that usually pneumonia is no longer infectious about 24 hours after taking antibiotics. However, the length of time a person is infectious can vary.15
For example, some antibiotics take longer to work in some people than other people. This means that you could still spread bacterial pneumonia to another person more than 24 hours after starting antibiotics. Or, if you have viral pneumonia together with bacterial pneumonia, you may still pass on viral infections even though you are taking antibiotics.
What Is Fungal Pneumonia
Three types of fungi living in soil are known causes of pneumonia:
- Coccidioides immitis and Coccidiodes posadasii are two related fungi common to the American Southwest. Both can cause coccidioidomycosis, also known as cocci or valley fever.
- Histoplasma capsulatum is found in the central and eastern United States, especially areas around the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys, and causes a disease called histoplasmosis.
- Cryptococcus is a fungi found in soil and bird droppings all across the country.
Most people who inhale these fungi don’t get sick, but if your immune system is weak, you may develop pneumonia.
Another fungus, Pneumocystis jirovecii, can generate an infection in premature, malnourished infants, and in people with a weakened immune system, such as those who have HIV or AIDS.
The symptoms of pneumonia that are caused by fungi are often similar to those of other forms of pneumonia, including a fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
But because this type of pneumonia usually affects people with weakened immune systems, symptoms tend to develop faster, and people often experience a high fever.
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Can You Catch Pneumonia More Than Once
Yes. Pneumonia is caused by many different microbes, and so getting it once does not protect you from getting it again. If you get pneumonia more than once you may need to have more investigations to understand why this has happened. It could be due to a problem in your chest or your immune system, and you may be referred to a specialist.
Question: What Causes Bacterial Pneumonia In Dogs
More specifically, most cases of pneumonia in dogs are caused by a bacterial infection. The most common bacteria that cause pneumonia in dogs are Bordetella bronchiseptica, Streptococcus zooepidemicus, Pasteurella multocida, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Mycoplasma species.
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Treatment Of Pneumonia In Dogs
Treatment for bacterial pneumonia may include a broad-spectrum antibiotic to fight off the infection. If your veterinarian performed a tracheal wash, they might decide to change the antibiotics later based on the bacteria that were identified in the test. Fungal pneumonia typically requires anti-fungal medication.
For any type of pneumonia, your veterinarian may prescribe medications to help control the symptoms. These may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication for fever and pain, as well as bronchodilators and expectorants for coughing and difficulty breathing. If the pneumonia is severe, your dog may need to be hospitalized for supportive care, including supplemental oxygen, intravenous antibiotics, or fluid therapy.
Remember never to give your dog medications without talking to your veterinarian first. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen , acetaminophen , and aspirin can be harmful to dogs. You should also follow your veterinarian’s dosage instructions carefully to make sure your dog is getting an effective yet safe amount of the medication.
Human medications can be highly toxic to dogs, so keep your pill bottles out of paws reach. Get tips on handling a pet poison emergency.
What Can I Do To Prevent Bacterial Pneumonia
- Prevent the spread of germs. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use gel hand cleanser when there is no soap and water available. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth unless you have washed your hands first. Cover your mouth when you cough. Cough into a tissue or your shirtsleeve so you do not spread germs from your hands. If you are sick, stay away from others as much as possible.
- Limit alcohol. Women should limit alcohol to 1 drink a day. Men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1Â½ ounces of liquor.
- Ask about vaccines. You may need a vaccine to help prevent pneumonia. Get an influenza vaccine every year as soon as it becomes available.
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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.
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.
When To See A Doctor
Pneumonia can develop into a serious respiratory infection that causes unpleasant complications. Usually, using home remedies to treat chest infections at the first signs of a viral or bacterial chest infection help to prevent pneumonia becoming worse.
In some cases, you may need to visit your doctor to get your lung infection symptoms checked out. Dr. Laurence Knott on Patient.info recommends seeing a doctor for pneumonia in the following circumstances:19
- The symptoms of pneumonia get worse despite using home remedies.
- You start to cough up thick phlegm or mucus that is yellow, green, brown, or has streaks of blood.
- You get no relief from a chesty cough after 4 weeks.
- You frequently have bouts of bronchitis or other chest infections.
- You have shortness of breath, dizziness, fast breathing, or chest pains.
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Is It Pneumonia Or The Flu
The symptoms of canine influenza are similar to those of pneumonia. They can include fever, moist or dry coughing, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and a lack of appetite. It can be difficult to tell at home what is causing your dog’s illness. That’s why it’s important to take them to the veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment plan.
Bronchitis Vs Pneumonia: Why Theyre Related And How Theyre Different
A pneumonia diagnosis is based on your medical history, a physical exam, and certain test results. Your doctor determines which type of pneumonia you have based on how you became infected, what your X-ray or lung exam reveals, and which kind of germ is responsible for your infection.
During a physical exam, your doctor will check your vital signs and listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. Decreased breath sounds is an indication of a lot of inflammation, says Michelle Barron, MD, a professor in the division of infectious diseases at University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora.
If your doctor suspects pneumonia, they may order further diagnostic tests, such as a chest X-ray to help determine the extent of the infection. Blood tests and an analysis of the patients sputum can pinpoint whats causing the pneumonia. Pulse oximetry measures the oxygen level in your blood .
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Besides Vaccination What Else Can I Do To Prevent Bacterial And Viral Pneumonia
Receiving all recommended vaccinations is one of the best ways to prevent pneumonia. Additionally, there are several other ways to prevent pneumonia, including:
- Quitting smoking, and avoiding secondhand smoke. Smoking damages your lungs.
- Washing your hands before eating, before handling food, after using the restroom, and after being outside. If soap is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoiding being around people who are sick. Ask them to visit when they are feeling better.
- Not touching or sharing objects that are shared with others. Germs can be transferred from object to you if you touch your nose or mouth without washing or sanitizing your hands first.
- Eating a healthy diet, exercise, and get enough rest. Healthy habits keep your immune system strong.
- Getting treated for any other infections or health conditions you may have. These conditions could weaken your immune system, which could increase your chance of infections.
- Avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol.
When And How Is Pneumonia Contagious
A person can spread the germs that cause pneumonia when he or she coughs and expels the bacterial or viral infections that caused the disease. The droplets containing the virus or bacteria can land on a common surface, such as a table, telephone, or computer. You could also breathe in the droplets and bring them into your own breathing tract.
The time that a person may pass along pneumonia varies depending on the type and how he or she acquired it. Additionally, some types of pneumonia are much more contagious than others. Two examples of highly contagious strains of this illness are mycoplasma and mycobacterium.
Once a person who has pneumonia starts on antibiotics, he or she only remains contagious for the next 24 to 48 hours. This can be longer for certain types of organisms, including those that cause the disease tuberculosis. In that case, someone can remain contagious for up to two weeks after starting on antibiotics. When someone has viral pneumonia, the contagious period starts to subside when the symptoms do. This is particularly true of fever. Keep in mind that someone who had pneumonia may still cough occasionally for several weeks, even after he or she is no longer contagious.
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