Every year there are people that die of pneumonia, especially older people, those with chronic illnesses or impaired immune systems, but also affects young and healthy people. There are many types of pneumonia with various signs and symptoms that usually appear after a flu or a complicated cold. Pneumonia occurs suddenly with chest pain, chills, fever, cough and shortness of breath. Antibiotics are used to treat the most common forms of bacterial pneumonias, antibiotic-resistant pneumonias are a growing problem.
Signs and symptoms
It is not easy to have a cristal clear diagnosis of pneumonia, because often is mistaken with colds and flus.
There are many bacteria that cause pneumonia and you may develop it if you had a viral upper respiratory infection such as influenza, in older people and people with a chronic illness or compromised immune system the symtoms are not that severe and evident as in young people which have shaking chills, sweating, a high fever, chest pain and cough that produces thick, greenish or yellow phlegm.
Viral pneumonia is more often during winter time and is caused by a a dozen different viruses. Its first symptoms are: muscle pain and fatigue, headache, fever, a dry cough all those symptoms are more severe in people with cardiovascular or lung disease. When having a viral pneumonia you are susceptible of developing a secondary bacterial pneumonia, with the progression of the disease you may experience breathless and a cough that produces a whitish phlegm.
Mycoplasma is a tiny bacterium that causes symptoms similar to those caused by other bacterial and viral infections but more mild and flu like symptoms. A “walking pneumonia,” is caused by mycoplasma, you may not even know you had pneumonia. Mycoplasma pneumonia spreads easily and affects children, young adults in community. Gives good results if treated with the appropiate antibiotics.
Chlamydia pneumonia is common among school-age children and causes similar symptoms with those of mycoplasma pneumonia. Has a good response in antibiotic therapy, the chlamydia bacterium that causes pneumonia is different from the one that causes sexually transmitted infections. Pneumonia may be caused by some types of fungi which spread through bird droppings, with symptoms of acute pneumonia and chronic pneumonia. Pneumocystis carinii causes infection and pneumonia in people with AIDS. It also affects people with organ transplants, chemotherapy, on corticosteroids or other immune-suppressing drugs. Signs and symptoms include a cough that doesn’t go away, trouble breathing and fever. Some tests need to be done: laboratory test results, X-ray findings, demographics. Home care is possible even in severe cases if the caregivers give the chest therapy and antibiotics intravenous and if good support and home nursing services are assured.
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