Pneumonia- what are the Causes and Treatment?

Pneumonia is an inflammation of the tiny air sacs of the lungs. This medical condition is usually caused from infections whether viral or bacterial, some other causing factors are microorganisms like fungus or parasites. Pneumonia affects about 450 million people worldwide yearly and is the leading cause of at least four million deaths. This disease affects babies, the elderly and persons with other underlying ailments worst; and this illness is the main cause of death among this category of persons.

[pullquote]Pneumonia affects about 450 million people worldwide yearly and is the leading cause of at least four million deaths.[/pullquote]

Viral Pneumonia

Pneumonia if it is a viral infection is called walking pneumonia. This illness is caused by a virus and not many persons feel the need to move about. Rest is generally prescribed as part of the treatment. This viral infection affects the lungs causing it to become inflamed. This pneumonia is not life threatening, but, if contracted with any other illness may become problematic to treat. Symptoms of viral pneumonia are a heavy cough, stiffness in the joints, sore throat, headache, feeling fatigued.  The symptoms generally last two to three weeks, however the weakness experienced after pneumonia is gone, is due to loss of oxygen from the body because of the restrictions of the inflammation in the lungs, dehydration and loss of appetite.

Most viral pneumonia is treated with lots of bed rest, fluids, and antiviral medications and if the symptoms persist then the sufferer should visit the doctor, as there may be other contributing factors to consider.

Bacterial Pneumonia

Bacterial pneumonia is caused from a severe bout of the flu or an onset of whooping cough. This type of pneumonia can be quite deadly so lots of care needs to be taken during treatment. The treatment is general antibiotics, administered in a hospital through intravenous fluids and oxygen therapy to replace oxygen loss. This type of bacterial pneumonia is called secondary bacterial pneumonia, as it is caused from the onset of the above-mentioned illnesses of flu or whooping cough. Because of these illnesses which affect the lungs, the likelihood of the illness developing into bacterial pneumonia is greater.

Breathing problem will be obvious, accompanied with wheezing which is synonymous with any lung condition. Chest pains and tightness of the chest are also symptoms of bacterial pneumonia and there may be soreness and fatigue when wanting to lie down. For this condition the patient would rather rest in a sitting position to alleviate the distress. For the pain, pain medication is generally administered.

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