Pneumonia refers to lung inflammation. There are 50 such lung inflammatory ailments. During such situations, the lungs inevitably experience build up of fluids. Several micro-organisms cause pneumonia. Pneumonic inflammation of the lungs occurs due to collection of cellular wastes and blood cells within the air sacs within the lungs. Such pneumonic inflammation creates breathing problems.
Pneumonia is caused by infections. The culprits responsible for causing such pneumonic infections are protozoa or fungi, mycoplasma, rickettsia, and bacteria. Respiratory infections caused by rhinoviruses, adenoviruses, and influenza virus can also lead to pneumonia. Most of the viral pneumonia cases are mild. They also resolve within a week’s time with or without any particular treatment.
HOW DANGEROUS CAN PNEUMONIA BE
Every year, 90,000 deaths are reported to be because of pneumonia in the United States. What is more, approximately five million pneumonia cases are registered in that country.
PNEUMONIA CAN BE LIFE THREATENING
If detected early, a person with a good constitution and proper treatment can recover quickly from an influenza bout. However, acute pneumonia attacks can be life threatening as well. More often than not, pneumonia can prove to be fatal to patients having weak immune systems. Even healthy persons can have complicacies if pneumonia is not detected early. There can be serious consequences if pneumonia patients fail to get effective and prompt treatment.
Lobar pneumonia is an acute form of infection. It is caused by the Pneumococcus bacterium. The generic name of this bacterium is Streptococcus pneumoniae. Lobar pneumonia usually follows an extreme form of viral respiratory infection, particularly of the upper respiratory tract. The symptoms of lobar pneumonia are chest pain during breathing, or cough and fever accompanied by chill and shaking. The patient’s body temperature hovers around 104° F (roughly 40° C). The sputum is blood streaked.
Notably, most of the deaths before the invention of antibiotics were due to lobar pneumonia. Lobar pneumonia generally attacks a lung lobe or a portion of it. At times, lobar pneumonia strikes both the lungs; then it is known as double pneumonia.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF BACTERIAL PNEUMONIAS
Besides the Streptococcus pneumoniae, the other bacterial pneumonias fall in the bronchopneumonias category. Bronchopneumonias fever is lower compared to the one experienced in Streptococcus pneumoniae. Moreover, bronchopneumonias symptoms appear slower than the Streptococcus pneumoniae signs. The bronchopneumonias primarily target the bronchial tubes known as the bronchioles. Since these small tubes are located nearest the lungs, they may become rather dangerous. The bacteria that can cause bronchopneumonias are streptococci, different types of staphylococci, Haemophilus influenzae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and pneumococcus besides the bacterium causing the Legionnaires’ disease, namely Legionella pneumophilia.
There are basically three forms of pneumonia. They are atypical pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae, a mono cell organism lacking nucleus; the pneumonia caused by the harmless protozoan Pneumocystis carinii; and Chlamydia pneumoniae.
Atypical pneumonia: This is a common type of pneumonia. Outbreaks of such forms of pneumonia are generally witnessed among students in educational institutions and also among soldiers. Normally, atypical pneumonia resolves by itself. However, antibiotics can also bring about relief. It is caused by a minute prokaryotic organism known as Mycoplasma pneumoniae. This single-celled micro organism is neither a virus nor a bacterium.
Pneumocystis carinii Pneumonia: This form of pneumonia is caused by the protozoan Pneumocystis carinii. This micro organism is usually harmless. Such pneumonic incidences are common among people suffering from impaired immune syndromes or also among many leukemia patients. This form of pneumonia has been the primary cause of deaths among people suffering from AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Chlamydia pneumoniae: Chlamydia pneumoniae is a contagious ailment caused by the Chlamydia set of bacteria. Chlamydia pneumoniae affects the upper respiratory tract. Chlamydia pneumoniae infections can also strike the bronchitis, pneumonitis, and the pharyngitis. Chlamydia pneumoniae can also lead to heart attacks and coronary heart diseases. Besides Chlamydia pneumoniae, the other two species of Chlamydia bacteria are Chlamydia psittaci and Chlamydia trachomatis.
THE SECOND MAIN CAUSE OF DEATH IN USA
Chlamydia pneumoniae has been identified as the second main cause of pneumonia in US. Anybody between the ages of five to 35 can be affected by Chlamydia pneumoniae. The Chlamydia pneumoniae bouts are usually mild in nature. The Chlamydia pneumoniae symptoms are fever and cough. At times, there can be more sputum production. Sputum is a mixture of various mucus and saliva. It arises from the respiratory tracts.
CHLAMYDIA PNEUMONIAE SYMPTOMS
The Chlamydia pneumoniae symptoms may not be very visible initially. Or, at times, the Chlamydia pneumoniae signs may also point to the other forms of Chlamydia dysfunctions. One type is the chlamydia type of illnesses caused by various strains of the trachomatis species. Another severe type of chlamydia disease is caused by a strain of the fly-borne Chlamydia trachomatis.
DIAGNOSING CHLAMYDIA PNEUMONIAE
To diagnose Chlamydia pneumoniae infections, patients generally have to undergo various tests. These include cell cultures that exclude other illnesses with similar symptoms. The other ailments having similar symptoms are candidiasis, trichomoniasis, herpes, and gonorrhea. The modern method of diagnosing Chlamydia infections are immunoassays blood tests. These examinations pinpoint the specific antibody that may have been constituted by the patient’s immune system against chlamydia infection.
In 1939, major advances were made in pneumonia therapy. Their wider application lowered pneumonia from the third to the fifth leading cause of death in the USA.
More often than not, antibiotics effectively deal with the majority forms of bacterial pneumonia. For patients above 50 years, and for those suffering from the most acute types of pneumococcus, physicians generally recommend a vaccine. It also grants the people immunity against these virulent pneumonia states. The vaccine is further given as an immunity measure to patients who have chronic liver, lung or heart ailments.