Pneumonia - More Than Just Your Common Cold

Posted Friday, April 29, 2016

Did You Know? Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children under age 5

Pneumonia Can Have More Than 30 Different Causes 

The First Pneumococcal Vaccine Was Licensed In 1977 and Protected Against 14 Different Strains of Pneumonia

Pneumonia ranges from mild to life-threatening and occurs when the air sacs of the lungs become inflamed and fill with fluid. Bacteria, viruses and fungi can all lead to pneumonia. The risk is greater for infants, people over age 65, or those with weakened immune systems. 

The following summary has been prepared as a guide to help patients understand symptoms, common treatment for pneumonia and tips for recovery. 

01 | Symptoms of Pneumonia

Symptoms can vary, depending on the type of germ causing the infection, age and overall health; however, the most common signs include:

  • Chest pain when breathing or coughing
  • Fever, sweating and chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Cough, which may produce phlegm

02 | When to See a Doctor

If you experience difficulty breathing, chest pain or run a persistent fever of 102 F or higher, you should visit a medical provider. It is especially important to get to the doctor quickly if you are fall into one of the following high-risk categories:

  • Children under age 2
  • Adults over age 65
  • People with weakened immune system or underlying health condition
  • People receiving chemotherapy or medication that suppresses the immune system

03 | Treatment

After determining a positive diagnosis of pneumonia by means of a physical exam and various tests, your medical provider will likely prescribe antibiotics, fever reducers and cough medicine, as well as recommend fluids and rest. In more severe cases, or for those with risk factors, the physician may advise a hospital stay. 

04 | Tips for Recovery

If recovering at home, these tips can help you heal more quickly and decrease your risk of complications:

  • Get plenty of rest. Wait until your temperature returns to normal and your coughing subsides before returning to work or school. Be careful not to overdo it.
  • Stay hydrated. Fluid intake is very important, especially water, as it helps to loosen mucus in your lungs and prevent dehydration.
  • Take medications as prescribed. Feeling better does not mean you should stop taking your medication. Complete your course of medication as prescribed to eliminate the bacteria and prevent a recurrence of pneumonia.

For additional resources and information on pneumonia please visit: http://www.webmd.com/lung/tc/pneumonia-topic-overview#BM_Topic%20Overview  

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References

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pneumonia/basics/definition/con-20020032 

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/pneumonia.htm 

http://www.cdc.gov/pneumonia/

 

 

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