Pneumonia is a lung condition caused by an infection. It causes the tiny sacs inside your lungs to become inflamed and fill with pus and fluid, resulting in cough, fever and difficulty in breathing. The treatment for pneumonia largely depends on the cause. It is widely known as a lung disease, these facts might surprise you as well as help you seek better medical advice.
1. The doctors may not be able to identify the specific germ that caused the pneumonia
This applies to even the most advanced healthcare facilities available around the world. This is because patients may be put on antibiotics prior to a blood or sputum test.
Most often, hospitals do not have the required technology to recognised the virus while certain viruses do not have any specialised treatments. This makes identification a harder task.
The growth of certain bacteria may be gradual. This might lead to a delay in diagnosis at times up-to two months.
2. Not all type of pneumonia is contagious
It is commonly believed that pneumonia is communicable as it spreads from person to person. Viral and Bacterial Pneumonia can spread from person to person through airborne droplets left by a sneeze or a cough.
This does not apply to Fungal Pneumonia. Transmission may occur during or shortly after birth through blood as well.
3. Vaccination helps to prevent pneumonia
The bacteria called streptococcus pneumonia is the most common pathogen for this illness. Especially among children below five, the elderly above 65 years of age and other medical conditions.
Two vaccines named pneumococcal polysaccharide and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) exist to combat against this bacteria. There is a 45%-90% prevention rate.
Children, teens, middle-aged adults and the elderly can safeguard themselves by taking this preventive measure.
Pneumococcal disease is a type of pneumonia that can affect the upper respiratory track and spread to other parts of the body. This is one of the leading infectious causes of death worldwide.
4. Mycoplasma is only of mild concern
The bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae causes coughing and slight fever. It’s prevalence and risk level is minimum. Pneumonia could be a lethal illness if left untreated. But learning which type one has been infected with helps to pursue the necessary remedy faster.
5. The risk level varies based on age and health conditions
Not everyone is equally vulnerable to succumb to pneumonia. The following groups of people are at a greater risk:
- Children below five years of age and the elderly above 65 years of age
- Have undergone recent surgery
- Those with swallowing difficulties or weakened immune systems
- Health conditions such as respiratory infection, asthma, bronchiectasis, cerebral palsy, COPD, cystic fibrosis, lower brain function, diabetes, heart disease, liver cirrhosis, and chronic kidney diseases, undertaking dialysis.
6. The symptoms vary for different type of pneumonia
Viral and Bacterial Pneumonia is associated with similar symptoms but Viral Pneumonia displays several signs. This includes wheezing. Infants suffering from a critical stage of pneumonia may encounter unconsciousness, hypothermia and convulsions. They may be unable to intake food or water.
Children below five years may show signs of accelerated breathing or inward chest movements during inhalation. This is the opposite of how a healthy person breathes.