You must have heard a number of things on the news and social media about pneumonia and Wuhan pneumonia. You might also have heard about its association to the coronavirus outbreak in China. Among different studies on pneumonia, there is one case that stands out. JonJon, a 33-year-old from the United States, fell a victim to pneumonia. His condition had worsened quite a lot. He couldn’t breathe on his own, and doctors had to put him in a medically induced coma. His body started to heal and took time to recover properly. Pneumonia in children is itself very lethal. WHO statistics show that 1.4 million children of age five die each year. What is Pneumonia and How it is Related to Coronavirus discusses the types and causes of pneumonia.
Coronavirus outbreak has caused a nationwide panic in China. Other countries are already on high alert especially if there were any people travelling back and forth China in the last few weeks. Pneumonia is one of the symptoms of coronavirus. In severe cases, it has also led to multiple deaths in China. Therefore, it is important to know what pneumonia is, how it is different from a common cold, and what you can do about it. Due to the advancement in science, medicine and technology, there are several pneumonia treatments, vaccines and awareness sessions about it.
What is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia (meaning in Urdu: نمونیا ) is a type of contagious lung infection in which the air sacs or alveoli of the lungs are affected. There may only be one infected lung or both of them. It depends on the severity of the disease. Pneumonia is prevalent in third world countries where the living and health conditions are poor. On top of poor health conditions, proper, timely medical treatment is not available.
Due to pneumonia, the air sacs become inflamed. They also get filled with pus or fluid which causes violent coughing. In addition to this, the cough contains pus or phlegm. Due to these reasons, it becomes very difficult for patients to breathe. As a result, there are several complications that arise due to breathing issues. Pneumonia diagnosis can be performed by any good general physician.
If you would like to consult a doctor to get peace of mind, there are several general physicians available in Pakistan. You can get in touch with through marham.pk.
What are the Symptoms of Pneumonia?
Cold, influenza virus and similar diseases have symptoms that are similar to pneumonia. You will notice how some of the symptoms also fall under common colds. When these symptoms worsen, they can develop into pneumonia. Pneumonia symptoms are as follows:
- Fever, chills
- Chest pain
- Difficulty in breathing
- Violent coughing
- Pus, fluid, phlegm in cough
What are the Causes of Pneumonia?
The causes of pneumonia include infections by bacteria, virus and fungus. If left untreated, the infections can go on to cause pneumonia in people. The most common viruses and bacteria that lead to pneumonia are:
- Flu viruses
- Cold viruses
- RSV virus
- Bacteria (Streptococcus and mycoplasma pneumoniae)
What are the Types of Pneumonia?
Pneumonia can be categorized into multiple types. Some of these are bacterial pneumonia, viral pneumonia and fungal pneumonia. There is another category of pneumonia. It includes:
- Hospital-acquired pneumonia
- Community-acquired pneumonia
- Atypical pneumonia (often called ‘Walking pneumonia’)
- Double pneumonia
- Interstitial pneumonia
- Ventilator-associated pneumonia
- Aspiration pneumonia
Hospital-acquired pneumonia is a type of bacterial pneumonia that a person gets while his stay in the hospital. These can be serious. It is due to the fact that the bacteria responsible for this type of pneumonia is often resistant to a lot of antibiotics already.
Community-acquired pneumonia occurs when a person contracts pneumonia in a social environment.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia is the type in which people on ventilators get pneumonia.
When both the lungs are affected, double pneumonia occurs.
Walking pneumonia or atypical pneumonia is a mild case of pneumonia.
Pneumonia in which you inhale bacteria into your lungs is called aspiration pneumonia. It can be through drinks, saliva, alcohol, drugs, or food.
Diagnosis of Pneumonia:
There are many different ways to diagnose pneumonia. Your general physician may use any of these methods for diagnosis.
- Chest CT scans
- Sputum test
- Blood tests
- Chest x-rays.
Preventive Measures against Pneumonia:
It is very important to stay safe and adopt precautions to avoid acquiring pneumonia. If you are aware of the symptoms, you can even stay safe against coronavirus and the deadly pneumonia it causes.
- Flu shot every year.
- There are also vaccines available for pneumonia. Although there is no vaccine for pneumonia caused by viruses, there is a vaccine for bacterial pneumonia. (Pneumococcal vaccine and shots)
- Healthy, balanced diet. Avoid alcohol, vaping and smoking.
- Washing hands and maintaining good hygiene.
- Covering mouth while coughing and sneezing.
- Do not let symptoms of common cold, influenza or flu go unnoticed. If the symptoms are not going away, do not compromise on your health. Go visit a doctor.
You can look after yourself and your loved ones when it comes to pneumonia because you are more aware of the preventive measures against pneumonia and how it is related to coronavirus.
Image by Obsessive Potato.