Pneumonia Symptoms, Causes, Facts & Treatment

Pneumonia is commonly refer as lung or chest infection.  This can spread by coughing, breathing and sneezing.

12 November is World Pneumonia Day which is observe since 2009. This has created awareness in people. Build the capacity of Health care professional to treat pneumonia and prevent it.  This has reduce mortality or death rate from 1.6 million in 2009 to below under 1.0 Million in 2016. Still we have to go long in under develop and developing countries, where most of the death reported in children below the age of 5 years.

The chest infection is mainly cause by bacterial infection. This may also cause by virus and rarely it is due to fungi and it refer as fungal chest infection.

pneumonia chest infection

Pneumonia and its symptoms in most of the cases are of mild to moderate. This can also be severe in nature. These conditions can be treated. There are several treatment options available now days. Its management and treatment are dependent upon the cause and its nature of severity. We have to consider the age group of the patient and overall health condition of the patient.

  • Mostly patient suffering from pneumonia are likely to recover within 1-3 weeks.
  • In few of the cases, it can be life threatening.
  • If we remain alert and aware pneumonia can be prevented.

All family members need to have FLU vaccine annually

If your love ones are below the 5 years or above 65 years or with weak immunity system they should have course of pneumococcal vaccine. We should follow proper hand washing techniques to keep our hand germ free.

 Symptoms of Pneumonia

People can suffer from pneumonia, it is due to the complication of respiratory infection. Commonly and mostly it is refer as FLU and it is common. Beside FLU there more than 20 different causes of respiratory illness

Mostly pneumonia effects young children especially who are below five years, older people above 65 years and patient suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease refer (COPD) and asthma patients.

 Keep your lung healthy

pneumonia bacteriaGood healthy habits will keep our lung healthy. This will prevent pneumonia and other chest diseases.

  • Follow good oral hygiene which means proper cleaning of teeth, gum and mouth.
  • Secondly follow proper hand washing technique and apply routinely.
  • It is good to avoid crowded place, especially places where people are ill. Keep far away from passive smoking and air pollution.
  • Smoker should quit smoking at all cost.

 Pneumonia and its incidence in children

As per report published in 2013 which says,

  • within 20 seconds a child dies due to Pneumonia.
  • 98% of death due to pneumonia is in under develop and developing countries.

It is essential to understand how symptoms appear in children. Reason is unlike adult, the babies who are suffering may not have fever or nor do they cough vigorously. Still they have signs of infection but it is subtle in nature.

In children pneumonia sign & symptoms are different than the adult. Children and toddlers are at greater risk to suffer from pneumonia, because of their immune system is still in developing stage.

Pneumonia symptom may varies according to their age. Still there are number of indication which will helps parents to recognize the young baby has more than bad cold which is to be taken seriously and this needs proper checkup and advice from baby physician.

Pneumonia in children is of mild, moderate or severe in nature

Mild form of pneumonia in children is due to certain bacteria, which includes two types that is Mycoplasma Pneumoniae and Chlemydophilia pneumoiae. Which result in mild form of pneumonia. Mild type is refer or known as atypical or walking pneumonia. This is mostly found in school going children.

The children suffering from this walking type have less or no feeling of sickness. This may not result in stopping child from going to school. They can be having following indications such as:

  • Low grade fever,
  • Dry cough.
  • Head ache
  • Laziness

Overall mild form of pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumonia.  It is 15 to 50% among adult’s pneumonia cases.

If we consider only school going children the incidence of walking pneumonia will be much higher. This is normally develops and observe during late summer or with start of  fall season during year. It is contagious in nature and spread from person to person.

The incidence will be more within the group that may be due to close contact during school hours or at camping.  The children who are affected by mild pneumonia, usually they catch the germs during school hour from their classmate or friends. They come home with symptom and affects the family members mostly their young ones in the house. .

 How to manage moderate Pneumonia in children

The virus is responsible for most of the cases of moderate pneumonia in children.  The age group is mostly from four months to five years old baby.

The following symptoms are observe in this form of sickness.

  • Cough
  • Fever of low grade or intensity
  • Throat irritation and sore throat
  • Less desire to eat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Feeling of tiredness as well as lack of energy
  • Diarrhea may also observe in cases

Severe Pneumonia among children

It is of bacterial origin and known as bacterial pneumonia. This is common among school going children, youth and teenagers.

Such incidence onset is very rapid and it appear abruptly in comparison to cold or virus. In severe pneumonia cases following symptoms will be observe:

  • Fever of high grade intensity
  • Cough with mucus discharge that will be yellowish or green in appearance
  • Chill feeling
  • Severe sweetening
  • Dyspnea means feeling difficulty in breathing
  • Breathlessness and wheezing
  • Rosy face appearance or redness of skin.

It has been observed children who are suffering from bacterial pneumonia looks more sick as compare to other forms of pneumonia as discussed above. The severe form pneumonia needs to well taken care and diagnosed correctly. This will help in treating the condition appropriately and save valuable life.

Article Written by Mahmood Hussain for Baby First Pakistan

About Mahmood Hussain

Professional Experience More than 36 years work experience in Healthcare & Pharmaceutical sectorDirector & General Manager Baby First (Pvt.) Ltd Pakistan March 2011 – till to date I have been associated with Baby First (Pvt) Ltd for more than 5 years. It is advisory, community and social interaction medium for parents 16-38 years and babies 0-6 years.General Manager Aga Khan Health Service Pakistasn December 2005 – December 2007 (2 years 1 month)Based at Karachi Pakistan Worked as General Manager managing Karachi & Baluchistan Health care services of AKHSP which includes primary and secondary health care centers and diagnostic centers on all areas nearly 102 centers which include three leading hospitals in Karachi.General Manager Janssen Cilag (Johnson & Johnson) February 1998 – January 2005 (7 years)Education MBA, Marketing 1995 – 1996, Preston University MSc, Biochemistry 1970 – 1974, Karachi University

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