Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs, that is usually caused by fungi, bacteria, and viruses. The infection always results in inflammation in the lungs (air sac), which is known as alveoli. It is usually filled with pus or fluid that makes it difficult to breathe. Did you know that the germs that cause pneumonia are contagious? Here is everything you should know about pneumonia.
How Does Pneumonia Spread?
Germs that cause pneumonia are indeed contagious, that is, they can spread from one individual to another. In fact, both viral and bacterial pneumonia can easily be spread through inhalation of airborne droplets, usually from a person sneezing, or coughing. Also, when you get in contact with contaminated objects or surfaces (pneumonia-causing bacteria or viruses), you can get infected.
Fungal, another type of pneumonia, is usually contracted from the environment. However, unlike the other two, fungal pneumonia doesn’t spread from one individual to another.
What Are the Symptoms of Pneumonia?
Some of the symptoms of pneumonia include; fever, sweating, coughing that produces phlegm mucus, fatigue, loss of appetite, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, chest pain, and so on. Actually, some of these symptoms vary according to one’s age, or general health condition. For instance, children under the age of five years may experience symptoms like fast breathing, or even wheezing. Older people, on the other hand, may experience milder symptoms; like low body temperature. In some cases, they may exhibit confusion.
What Are the Causes of Pneumonia?
Pneumonia can be caused by various types of infectious agents, which include:
Viral pneumonia is a pneumonia infection caused by respiratory viruses. However, it is usually mild and lasts for a short while, even without treatment. Examples of respiratory viruses include; influenza (also known as flu), rhinoviruses (also known as the common cold), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
This is the commonest cause of pneumonia infection, which is mostly caused by streptococcus pneumonia. Others may include; Haemophilus influenza, mycoplasma pneumonia, and legionellae pneumophila.
As the name rightly suggests, this type of pneumonia is caused by fungi from the soil. Also, bird droppings can cause this particular type of pneumonia. People with a weakened immune system are usually easy targets. In other words, they are prone to fungal pneumonia. Some examples of fungi that cause pneumonia include; cryptococcus species, histoplasmosis species, pneumocystis jirovecii, and so on.
What Are the Treatments or Remedies for Pneumonia?
Treatments for pneumonia are largely dependent on the type of pneumonia an individual has; whether it is severe, mild, or one’s general health. You can either get prescription medications or an at-home remedy.
If you are experiencing any of the pneumonia symptoms earlier discussed, you can visit your doctor, who may, in turn, prescribe a medication to help treat your pneumonia. Your prescription will depend on the type and cause of pneumonia you have.
In most cases, antibiotic medications do necessarily work on viruses, so your doctor may prescribe an antiviral. Also, in cases of fungal pneumonia, your doctor may prescribe antifungal medications, which may take several weeks to clear the medication.
Doctors may recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medication, which may help relieve your pain and fever. Medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen may be prescribed. Also, some cough medicines may be recommended by your doctor. This would definitely help calm your cough, and help you have a proper rest.
What Are The Possible Ways To Prevent Pneumonia?
Apparently, pneumonia viruses can be prevented in many ways. Make sure to cultivate the habit of eating, washing, sleeping, playing, and working in a healthy environment. Remember, “health is wealth.”