Friday, September 22, 2023

What Is The Difference Between Pneumonia And Double Pneumonia

What Are The Complications Of Pneumonia

A doctor explains the difference between pneumonia and the coronavirus

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.

What Are The Signs Of Double Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection of one or both sides of the lungs that causes the air sacs to fill up with fluid or pus, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . Pneumonia can be caused by a bacteria, virus, or fungus. Symptoms can vary, but may include the following:

  • Cough
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Fatigue

You can also develop complications of pneumonia, like septic shock, lung abscesses, renal failure, and respiratory failure, per the NHLBI.

Double pneumonia isnt an official medical term, but it usually refers to having pneumonia in both lungs, says Richard Watkins, M.D., an infectious disease physician and professor of internal medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University.

It isnt necessarily more or less common than pneumonia that involves one lung, but it usually depends on the type of pneumonia a person has. Bacterial pneumonia more commonly involves one lung and viral often is a diffuse pattern in both lungs, Dr. Watkins says. X-rays and CT scans in patients with COVID-19 usually show both lungs are involved.

Northwestern Scientists Studying Pneumonia For Years Poised For Covid Lung Research

The study performed at Northwestern Medicine is unique because Wunderink and colleagues have been studying pneumonia for years before the pandemic. As a result, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they were prepared to collect fluid from the lungs of these patients in a safe and systematic manner and compare it with fluid collected from other ICU patients with pneumonia collected before the pandemic. This research infrastructure allowed them to show that pneumonia in patients with COVID-19 is different from other pneumonia, and more importantly, how it is different.

Scientists took cells from patients lung fluid and looked at the RNA and the proteins those cells express, enabling them to identify how these immune cells drive inflammation.

This level of resolution could never be achieved without directly sampling lung fluid, said study co-senior author Dr. Alexander Misharin, an assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Feinberg and a Northwestern Medicine physician.

The complex nature of the study, in which samples from patients were analyzed with the most sophisticated technologies available in Northwesterns state-of-the art research labs, required the concerted effort of more than 100 researchers.

The work was done as part of a consortium of investigators participating in the Successful Clinical Response in Pneumonia Therapy Systems Biology Center funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases led by Wunderink.

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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.

How Serious Is Double Pneumonia

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Pneumonia in any form is usually more serious for children under the age of five, adults over the age of 65, people with certain conditions like heart failure, diabetes, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , or people who have weakened immune systems, the NHLBI says.

Typically, double pneumonia is more serious for anyone, says Raymond Casciari, M.D., a pulmonologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif. If you have one good lung, it can meet all of your bodys needs until your other lung recovers. But, if both lungs are involved, youre in a fragile situation, he explains.

That said, it depends on the person and how their body reacts. One small area of the lungs thats affected by pneumonia can be life-threatening if its extensive, says Reynold Panettieri, M.D., a lung specialist and vice chancellor for translational medicine and science at Rutgers University. Sometimes, double pneumonia is well tolerated.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia

If you have pneumonia, youll have symptoms that are similar to having flu or a chest infection. Symptoms may develop gradually over a few days but can progress much faster.

The main symptom is coughing. You may feel generally unwell, weak and tired, and youll probably have at least one of these symptoms too:

  • coughing up mucus that may become yellow or green
  • a high temperature you might also sweat and shiver
  • difficulty breathing or getting out of breath quicker than normal
  • chest pain or discomfort

Even if you have pneumonia, you may not have all these symptoms.

Chronic Bronchitis Vs Copd

A chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation is another issue entirely when compared to chronic bronchitis. A COPD exacerbation is simply an acute worsening of the symptoms of COPD, such as wheezing, shortness of breath, mucus production, or coughing.

Depending on the kind of COPD a person has , these symptoms may be slightly different.

Patients with chronic bronchitis generally have more mucus production and cough, whereas people with emphysema have more shortness of breath, although either type of COPD can cause any number of these symptoms.

A COPD exacerbation may be caused by an infection , but it may also be caused by non-infectious causes such as fumes, irritants, or smoke.

The treatment for an acute COPD exacerbation is often steroids, inhalers, and antibiotics .

If you have chronic bronchitis or COPD and experience worsening of your symptoms, contact your healthcare provider. They will be able to determine the correct treatment for you.

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Symptoms Of Pneumonia In Elderly: Diagnosis And Treatment

Pneumonia is a serious illness that affects seniors in a way that is radical and different from others. It sees to target seniors because it is so rampant in that age group. It is therefore important to understand as much as you can about pneumonia, its causes, how it can be prevented, and the way seniors contract it so as to get help when the need arises. Pneumonia symptoms in elderly have to be understood so that action can be taken as soon as possible.

How Is Pneumonia Treated

What’s Going Around: Walking Pneumonia

Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia you have. Most of the time, pneumonia is treated at home, but severe cases may be treated in the hospital. Antibiotics are used for bacterial pneumonia. Antibiotics may also speed recovery from mycoplasma pneumonia and some special cases. Most viral pneumonias dont have specific treatment. They usually get better on their own.

Other treatment may include eating well, increasing fluid intake, getting rest, oxygen therapy, pain medicine, fever control, and maybe cough-relief medicine if cough is severe.

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How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed

Its a tough disease to diagnose, says , a pulmonologist and the medical director of the lung transplant program at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Age makes a big difference, as well as a persons immune status and, of course, the symptoms themselves. Pneumonia symptoms often mimic those of the common cold and the flu, as well as acute bronchitis, an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes .

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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Molecular Taxonomy And Biological Characteristics

Mycoplasma is the smallest and simplest self limiting bacteria. It belongs to the class Mollicutes and family Mycoplasmataceae. Mycoplasmas are distinguished from bacteria by the lack of cell wall structure. The absence of cell wall structure makes these organisms insensitive to beta-lactam anti microbial agents, prevents them from staining by gram’s stain, and is largely responsible for their polymorphism. Mycoplasmas have an extremely small genome compared with the 4.64Mb of E. coli. Maniloff proposed that the small genome size is due to gradual reduction in genome size from a common gram positive ancestor by the process of degenerative evolution. So phylogenetically, Mycoplasmas are more closely related to gram positive bacteria. The extremely small size and its limited metabolic and biosynthetic capabilities are responsible for many of the biological characteristics of the organisms. It explains the parasitic and saprophytic existence of the organisms and its fastidious growth requirements which may complicate its detection by culture. Mycoplasma reproduces by binary fission.

When To Call A Doctor

Walking pneumonia vs pneumonia: What is the difference?

If you have trouble breathing or severe chest pain, see a doctor as soon as possible, or go to the emergency room.

Pneumonia symptoms often resemble those of the flu or a cold. But if your symptoms are severe or last for more than three days, see a doctor. Untreated pneumonia can do permanent damage to your lungs.

According to Dr. Wayne Tsuang, a lung specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, whether you get pneumonia in one lung or both lungs is largely due to chance. This is the case whether the infection is viral, bacterial, or fungal.

In general, certain populations have a higher risk of getting pneumonia:

  • infants and toddlers

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Double Pneumonia Recovery Time

With proper treatment, most otherwise healthy people can expect to get better within 3 to 5 days. If you have no underlying health conditions, youll most likely be able to resume your normal activities in a week or so. Fatigue and mild symptoms, such as a cough, may last longer.

If you were hospitalized, your recovery time will be longer.

Do You Have Pneumonia Symptoms

Find a family medicine or primary care doctor near you.

Another essential piece of the puzzle is determining if the infection may have been picked up from a hospital or other health-care facility like a nursing home. Pathogens that live in these places have a greater chance of being antibiotic resistant and require different treatment considerations.

For most people, especially those without other serious medical conditions, a simple course of antibiotics along with rest and fluids will do, and theyll be back on their feet in no time.

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Differentiating Viral From Bacterial Pneumonia

Carl Heneghan, Annette Pluddemann and Kamal R. Mahtani

On behalf of the Oxford COVID-19 Evidence Service TeamCentre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health SciencesUniversity of Oxford

Correspondence to

VERDICTA severe complication of COVID-19 is viral pneumonia. Distinguishing viral pneumonia from bacterial pneumonia is difficult in the community. In some cases, they could co-exist, increasing the chance of a more unfortunate outcome. However, there may be important clues in the history and the examination that can help differentiate the two. Recent guidance from NICE will support clinicians in this process.

BACKGROUNDCommunity-acquired pneumonia can be caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi .

Viral pneumonia is a common complication of influenza-like illnesses and is a complication of SARS-COV-2. Viral pneumonia may clear up on its own however, when severe, it can be life-threatening. Viruses are generally not as common a cause of CAP as some bacteria. However, as well as being a primary pathogen, viruses can be a co-pathogen with bacteria, particularly in those with severe illness requiring admission to ICU and in ventilator-associated pneumonia.

Coronavirus has also been shown to occur with CAP. In a 2010 case-control study conducted in Israel , coronaviruses were identified in 24 patients with CAP, compared with 17 in control subjects.

Those more at risk include:

Differentiating viral and bacterial pneumonia



Skin And Mucosal Manifestations

How to Tell the Difference Between Pneumonia and Coronavirus, Plus: The Importance of Antibodies

Among patients with M. pneumoniae infection, 25% may have dermatological manifestations, making these one of the common complications of this infection. There is a well-known association between Mycoplasma and Stevens-Johnson syndrome, erythema multiforme and toxic epidermal necrolysis. M. pneumoniae is the most common infectious agent associated with Stevens-Johnson syndrome. The Stevens-Johnson syndrome is an acute, self-limited disease characterized by severe inflammation and necrosis of two or more mucous membranes with systemic symptoms such as fever and malaise. This is in contrast to erythema multiforme , which is a mild cutaneous illness characterized by symmetrically distributed, fixed, discrete, round, red papules, some of which evolve into target lesions, but without mucosal involvement and systemic toxicity.

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Fluid Within The Lungs

Bacterial, Fungal, parasitic, and viral infections can all lead to a buildup of fluid in the lungs. Streptococcus pneumonia is a bacterium that causes most of the bacterial pneumonia cases even though there are other causes.

Anything which leads to the inflammation, as well as the accumulation of fluid within, can be considered as a pneumonia origin.

Severe Cases Of Pneumonia In Seniors

Pneumonia can be very severe or mild. However, when it comes to seniors, pneumonia infection is almost always very severe. What is the difference between pneumonia and walking pneumonia? The mild version of the disease usually termed as walking pneumonia. This is because those affected only feel a little sick and the infection is not severe to require one to be hospitalized.

When it is severe, one may need some emergency medical care. It may be necessary for the patient to receive some form of oxygen therapy so as to help with the decreased capacity of the lungs.

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How Is Double Pneumonia Treated

Treatment usually depends on what caused your pneumonia in the first place, Dr. Sood says. Here’s a breakdown of possible treatments:

  • Antibiotics. “If someone is relatively healthy and they get bacterial pneumonia, we can usually treat them as an outpatient with antibiotics,” Dr. Sood says. In more severe cases, you’ll need IV antibiotics in the hospital.
  • Rest. If you have viral double pneumonia, you may not need anything, Dr. Panettieri says.
  • Anti-virals. Doctors usually recommend rest and fluids if you have viral pneumonia. However, in more severe situations, an antiviral medication like remdesivir may help, Dr. Casciari says.
  • Antifungals. An antifungal medication can help treat fungal pneumonia, Dr. Sood says. And, like antibiotics, if you have a more severe form of double pneumonia, you may be given the medication through an IV.
  • Breathing support. “Patients with pneumonia in both lungs are more likely to need supplemental oxygen or possibly support from a mechanical ventilator,” Dr. Monaco says.

As far as prognosis goes, it’s important to note that pneumonia is one of the top 10 causes of death in the US, per the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionand “it’s serious, but even worse when it involved both lungs,” Dr. Casciari says.

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How Is Bacterial Pneumonia Diagnosed

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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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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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