How Is Pneumonia Classified
It should be noted that, in pneumonia, the main causative agent of the symptoms is the patients own immune system, not just the viral or bacterial components that can infest the linings of the lower respiratory tract. The macrophages settled in this region are in charge of dealing with foreign agents, and in the initial stages, they are the cause of the clinical picture.
Macrophages phagocytose microorganisms, but also induce an inflammatory response, by binding through their membrane receptors to the pathogens own compounds. Upon recognition, this cell body synthesizes cytokines such as TNF-a, IL-8, and IL-1, attracting neutrophils to the site of infection. All this triggers tissue inflammation and, therefore, the aforementioned shortness of breath and chest pain.
This condition can be multifactorial, and it is also possible to classify it according to the place of infection, pathological involvement, host reaction, host type, or the area of acquisition of the pathology. Then, we tell you the characteristics of these most important typologies. Do not miss it.
How Do You Spread Pneumonia
Pneumonia is spread through contact with infected respiratory fluid that enters your mouth, eyes, or nose. This means that you can easily catch pneumonia from someone else if you touch infected surfaces and then touch your own mouth or nose.
According to doctors from the National Health Service, pneumonia also spreads through being in close contact when a person coughs or sneezes. Droplets of infected fluid can land on or near your mouth or nose, and the respiratory infection can find its way into your lungs.7
Staff from the Mayo Clinic report that pneumonia that spreads between people is often referred to as community-acquired pneumonia. This is when viral, bacterial, or fungal pneumonia gets transmitted between people outside of a hospital or medical facility . This can cause mild to severe symptoms of lung infections that last from a few days to several weeks.8
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.
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How To Prevent Yourself From Getting Pneumonia
Some of the ways that you can prevent yourself from getting Pneumonia from someone else are:
- In order to prevent getting pneumonia, it is important to wash hands before and after touching food or after blowing your nose. You also need to wash the hand thoroughly with soap and water after using the restroom or after changing a babyâs diaper, or after coming in contact with an individual affected with Pneumonia
- Abstaining from smoking
- Being up-to-date on the flu shot
- If you are on the high risk list of getting this disease then it is extremely vital for you to get a pneumonia vaccine to prevent yourself from getting pneumonia.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Bacterial Versus Viral Pneumonia In Adults
Symptoms of pneumonia can range from mild sometimes called walking pneumonia to severe. How serious your case of pneumonia depends on the particular germ causing pneumonia, your overall health, and your age.
Bacterial pneumonia: Symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can develop gradually or suddenly. Symptoms include:
- High fever
Additional symptoms appearing about a day later include:
- Higher fever
- Shortness of breath
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When To Contact A Medical Professional
- Cough that brings up bloody or rust-colored mucus
- Breathing symptoms that get worse
- Chest pain that gets worse when you cough or breathe in
- Fast or painful breathing
- Night sweats or unexplained weight loss
- Shortness of breath, shaking chills, or persistent fevers
- Signs of pneumonia and a weak immune system
- Worsening of symptoms after initial improvement
How Is Bacterial Pneumonia Diagnosed
Your veterinarian may suspect bacterial pneumonia based on the presence of the signs listed above, combined with the results of a physical examination, especially if abnormal lung sounds are heard when listening to your dogs chest with a stethoscope.
A series of tests may be required to confirm the diagnosis and to exclude other diseases that could be causing the symptoms, including:
- CBC and biochemistry profile. These blood tests will assess the general health of your dog, and specific blood or fecal tests may be recommended to rule out parasitic diseases such as heartworm or lungworm. Specific blood tests to rule out serious metabolic diseases may be necessary.
- Thoracic radiography . Radiographs often show characteristic changes in the lungs, and may be helpful to eliminate other types of heart or lung disease.
- Cytology using bronchoscopy. A small fiber optic camera called a bronchoscope is used to directly examine the inner surfaces of the airways in an anesthetized dog. After completing the visual examination, cytology samples can be collected for microscopic examination and for bacterial culture and sensitivity testing.
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Who Is Most Likely To Get Pneumonia
Although anyone at any age can contract pneumonia, there are certain groups that are at a higher risk than others. Individuals most likely to contract pneumonia include the elderly, children, people with chronic illnesses, and individuals with compromised or weakened immune systems.
Other risk factors that increase a persons risk of pneumonia include chronic lung diseases like COPD, smoking, brain disorders, immune system problems, serious illnesses like heart failure or diabetes, a recent surgery or trauma, and ongoing cancer treatment, or surgery for the nose, throat, mouth, or neck cancer.
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.
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When To Seek Medical Care For Your Pneumonia
At UPMC Western Maryland, we recommend that any person who has had a cough and a fever after experiencing flu-like symptoms schedule an appointment with their primary care provider as soon as possible or visit a UPMC Western Maryland urgent care center. This is especially important if the cough produces sputum that appears brown, green, or yellow in color. Anyone who experiences shortness of breath, high fever, confusion, or pain after a diagnosis of pneumonia should go to the UPMC Western Maryland Emergency Department immediately for treatment. Those with a depressed immune system or chronic conditions like HIV or diabetes should also seek immediate care.
UPMC Western Maryland wishes you a safe and healthy winter of 2019. If youre concerned about the possibility of pneumonia, we encourage you to speak to your primary care provider about a vaccine to prevent some of its types. Its also important to maintain good personal hygiene standards, avoid people who are already sick with pneumonia, and stay home when you have the disease yourself.
Please note, the information provided throughout this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and video, on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. If you are experiencing relating symptoms, please visit your doctor or call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
Is Pneumonia Contagious Types And Symptoms Of Pneumonia
Written byDr. Victor MarchionePublished onMay 9, 2016
If you ever wondered whether pneumonia is contagious, we are here to address your concerns. First of all, pneumonia is inflammation of the lung tissue, caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungus. In pneumonia, the air sacs become filled with pus. What part of the lung is affected and whether it is a single lung or both determines what kind of pneumonia it is we will explain the types of pneumonia later on.
Pneumonia may be contagious if it is caused by an infectious microbe. But if pneumonia is caused by chemical fumes or other poisons, then it is not contagious.
The different types of pneumonia stem from their cause. For example, there is bacterial pneumonia and viral pneumonia. Pneumonia can also bear a descriptive name, such as community-acquired or hospital-acquired pneumonia. Most of the types of pneumonia are contagious, but not as contagious as the flu, for example.
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Is Viral Pneumonia Contagious
You are usually contagious with viral pneumonia for as long as your symptoms last. Usually, sputum, saliva, or mucus that you cough up will contain infectious germs that can spread from person to person.
Dr. Charles Patrick Davis says that viral pneumonia is infectious for as long as you have a fever. However, depending on the type of respiratory viral infection, your pneumonia may still be spreadable for up to a week after symptoms have gone. A cough in itself isnt a sign that viral pneumonia is still contagious.6
Pneumonia Can Be Caused By Bacterial Viral Or Fungal Infections
Pneumonia is a type of lung infection that causes the air sacs in the lungs to fill with liquid.
There are different types of pneumonia. In most cases, pneumonia is caused by a bacterial or viral infection. In rarer cases, pneumonia can be caused by inhaling fluid into the lungs, or from a fungal infection.
However, healthcare providers arent always able to identify a cause for pneumonia: one study found that in up to 62% of pneumonia cases no pathogen like a virus, bacteria, or fungus is identified.
When people discuss types of pneumonia, they also consider how severe the infection is. For example, walking pneumonia is a nonmedical term thats used to refer to a mild case of pneumonia, where the patient can still be up and walking around. People also distinguish pneumonia cases by where they were picked up: for example, hospital-acquired pneumonia or community-acquired pneumonia.
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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.
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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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 Is Fungal Pneumonia
Fungal pneumonia is a noncontagious infection in your respiratory tract that is caused by breathing in spores. These spores infect the air sacs in the lungs and cause inflammation which results in symptoms of pneumonia.
According to Dr. Romeo A. Mandanas, a researcher at the Integris Cancer Institute of Oklahoma, fungal pneumonia is a less-common type of community-acquired pneumonia than the viral or bacterial varieties. Fungal pathogens can affect healthy individuals as well as people with compromised immune systems.12
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that valley fever is a type of fungal pneumonia common in the southern states in the U.S. This type of fungal pneumonia is caused by breathing in spores from the soil.13
Some of the symptoms of fungal pneumonia can include:14
- A dry cough that is difficult to get rid of
- Breathlessness, especially after physical exertion
- Chest discomfort
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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
What Is Walking Pneumonia
Walking pneumonia is any type of pneumonia that causes mild respiratory symptoms like sneezing or coughing. This type of lung inflammation is referred to as walking pneumonia because a person usually can go about their daily activities showing few or no symptoms of pneumonia.
According to Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD, anyone can get walking pneumonia and it usually causes cold-like symptoms.9
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Symptoms And Causes Of Walking Pneumonia
Dr. Carol DerSarkissian says that a bacterial infection of the Mycoplasma pneumonia strain of bacteria is usually the cause of walking pneumonia. Usually, the incubation period of walking pneumonia is between 2 and 4 weeks before you start to show symptoms.9
Signs that you have walking pneumonia can be any of the following:
- Flu-like symptoms like fever, sore throat, and headaches
- Fatigue that lasts after your respiratory infection symptoms have gone
Is Pneumonia Treated Any Differently In Children
Essentially no. Just like adults, bacterial causes of pneumonia in children may be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are not used to treat pneumonia caused by viruses. Flu-related pneumonia may be treated with antiviral medicine if caught early in the course of illness. Most cases of pneumonia are treated with comfort care measures that ease symptoms. These may include:
- Drinking more fluids.
- Getting more rest.
- Taking over-the-counter medicines for cough and acetaminophen for fever. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about giving medicines to your child.
- Using a cool mist humidifier in your childs room.
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What Is The Incubation Period For Pneumonia
The incubation period for pneumonia depends on the type of pathogen causing the disease, the person’s age, and his or her overall health. In general, most pneumonias begin with symptoms similar to those of a cold or the flu that last longer than the flu and become more severe. The signs and symptoms of pneumonia include
Pneumonia According To The Causative Agent
In this category, we can distinguish each type of pneumonia according to the etiological agent: viruses, bacteria, fungi and other parasites. We dissect the particularities of each one of them.
1.1 Viral pneumonia
Viral infections of the upper respiratory tract are some of the most prevalent diseases in the world. Without going any further, 20 to 50% of the worlds population have the flu at any given time and place. Although these conditions have not traditionally been associated with common symptoms of pneumonia , today it is known that 15 to 54% of community-acquired pneumonia are viral in origin.
1.2 Bacterial pneumonia
In adults, the most common causative agent of pneumonia is bacteria. Undoubtedly, the species most cited in the diagnosis of this clinical picture is Streptococcus pneumoniae, a gram-positive streptococcus, immobile and oval in shape. More than 90 serotypes of S. pneumoniae are known, but 12 are responsible for 80% of invasive pneumococcal infections .
In addition to this pathogen, the genera Staphylococcus, Klebsiella and Legionella can also cause pneumonia-like pictures. Since most cases are associated with a bacterial infection, antibiotics are usually the way to go.
1.3 Fungal pneumonia
1.4 Pneumonia due to other parasites
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