Pneumonia symptoms can be difficult to diagnose since it has some similarities with conditions like bronchitis, common cold, the flu.
Pneumonia is a respiratory infection, it occurs majorly in young children and elderly adults, and also people who may have a compromised immune system.
Below are some headings which explain further somethings you need to know about pneumonia, pneumonia symptoms, and the frequently asked question “is pneumonia contagious?”
Types of pneumonia
Is pneumonia contagious?
Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by any of the bacteria Streptococcus pneumonia, Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenza or a virus or irritating agents which cause inflammations on the tissue in one or both lungs.
When you get pneumonia, the air sacs in your lungs becomes swollen and filled with fluid, resulting in a cough, fever difficulty in breathing
Pneumonia cannot be gotten from being cold or under the rain and though it is a common disease, it can be pretty devastating which is mostly common in elderly people and children.
Also, pneumonia and pneumonia symptoms are not so easy to determine difficult because it has many similarities with conditions like bronchitis, asthma, and the common cold.
TYPES OF PNEUMONIA AND PNEUMONIA SYMPTOM
There are various types of pneumonia which manifest differently and caused by different causative agents. There are as follows;
- Viral pneumonia: this is mostly caused by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza virus type A or B. Viral pneumonia is more common in young children.
- Fungal pneumonia: this a rare form of pneumonia and mostly affects people with a compromised immune system.
- Aspiration pneumonia: This is mostly caused by inhalation of a foreign body that can cause irritation, chemicals or smoke. This form of pneumonia is as a result of irritation in the air sacs.
- Hospital-acquired pneumonia: as the name implies, this type of pneumonia can be gotten from the hospital while you are being treated for a different condition or when you are having a surgery.
The sets of people that are more prone to getting pneumonia include:
- Babies and young children
- Elderly people
- People with conditions like bronchitis, asthma, heart condition, kidney condition, liver condition
- Individuals with a compromised immune system example people getting chemotherapy or having HIV/AIDS
- People taking drugs after an organ transplant
Pneumonia symptoms can include the following:
- A cough that is dry which blood stained phlegm
- No appetite
- Muscle and joint pain
- Chest pain
- Rapid heart beat
- Difficulty in breathing
- Pain which gets severe when coughing blood
IS PNEUMONIA CONTAGIOUS?
You may have asked the question “is pneumonia contagious?” well, it is not! Pneumonia is not contagious, but the bacteria and viruses that cause pneumonia can be.
The germs and bacteria that causes the common cold, the flu, can be contagious and result in pneumonia.
You can prevent pneumonia, pneumonia symptoms and also prevent the spread of other contagious infections by the following means:
- Limiting your contact with people who have a cold or the flu.
- Practicing good hand hygiene
- Quit smoking as this habit can compromise your lungs and make you more prone to getting it.
- Maintain a good diet because you are what you eat!
- By exercising.
- Get enough rest.
PNEUMONIA SYMPTOM AND VACCINE
The pneumococcal vaccine prevents some serious lung infections and even brain or blood infections from Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria. Such infections are called pneumococcal disease — they also include pneumonia,meningitis, and septicemia.
Many strains of these Streptococcus pneumonia are sometimes resistant to antibiotics.
Vaccines are the best bet to prevent the pneumococcal disease. There are two types of the pneumococcal vaccine, one of them protects the adults against 23 strains of Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria and is known as the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23). The PPSV23(Pneumovax) vaccine is made from dead bacteria. The dead germs cannot make you sick.
The second one is the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, PCV13 (Prevnar). This vaccine is given to infants, toddlers, and elderly people and can protect against 13 strains of the pneumococcal bacteria.
The vaccine can be taken any time of the year. The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) is recommended for use in conditions that weakens the immune system and is taken one or two doses in five years.
While the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) is recommended for use in adults having asplenic sickle cell disease or a weakened immune system.
Elderly people can take both vaccines starting the PCV13 vaccine followed by PPSV23 in between 6 to 12 months’ time. In a situation when the adult has already been vaccinated with PPSV23, the person can get the PCV13 vaccine in a year or years
Pneumonia treatments can be carried out with antibiotics and taking plenty of fluids. In severe cases, hospitalization will be necessary.
You should try to take all your prescribed antibiotics, even when you feel better to avoid abuse and prevent the antibiotics from gaining resistance to the antibiotic.
After commencing treatment, the symptoms gradually subside. Sometimes the pneumonia symptoms may not improve which is as a result of the bacteria gaining resistant to the antibiotics. The causative agent is a virus and not a bacteria meaning that the antibiotics taken will have no effect in the virus which leaves your immune system the role of fighting the virus by the creation of antibodies.
Drugs such as Acetaminophen, ibuprofen to help in relieving the pain and also reducing fever.
Warm honey together with lemon juice can help in reducing the discomfort that coughing brings.
You should also take lots off fluids to prevent dehydration.