What is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is an infection caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungi which affects the human lungs. Pneumonia is a contagious disease and it can spread in the air. By breathing other healthy people bring the germ into their lungs and most of them develop the illness. Sometimes there appear epidemics inside small collectivities.
In healthy individuals, the body is fighting with the bacteria to stop it infect the lungs. This response to the germ activity is called inflammation. An inflammation can occur in the alveoli and makes them fill with fluid, and so the lungs do not function properly any more, they do not give oxygen to the blood or take carbon dioxide from it like they use to do. This causes the breathing problems you have during pneumonia. Other symptoms given by pneumonia are: fever, muscle aches, chest pain, and fatigue.
Symptoms like these can be given also by other diseases like acute bronchitis and only a thoracic X-ray can tell them apart.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is one of the most frequent bacterium that leads to pneumonia. Other bacteria involved in the turn up of pneumonia are: Haemophilus influenzae, Chlamydia trachomatis, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Legionella pneumophila.
Pneumonia can be caught from the air, if you inhale small particles of infected sputum or saliva from other people, or if the air conditioner was not cleaned properly. One can get pneumonia easier then other if it has a weakened immune system.
Doctors have classified pneumonia in two types: typical and atypical.
The typical pneumonia gives high grade fever, chills, and cough with yellow or greenish sputum, breathing problems, fatigue, and chest pains.
The atypical pneumonia gives you milder symptoms then the typical one and generally occurs if you have suffered from other illnesses during the last few weeks: low grade fewer, fatigue, abdominal pain, headaches, joint pain.
Pneumonia generally occurs at those who have a weakened immune system, like children, old people and those who have other diseases (HIV, organ transplanted people, cancer, chemotherapy). Smoking, drinking alcohol, working in cold places are also factors of risk.
A check up is indicated when you have some of these symptoms, so that the doctor could fast apply the necessary treatment and spare you from other complications that might occur if you leave pneumonia untreated. Hospitalizing is necessary when you have severe symptoms of pneumonia and so, a drastic treatment must be applied, with bed rest, antibiotic drugs in order to cure the disease faster.
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