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Updated on April 9, 2016
Main Symptoms of Pneumonia
Main Symptoms of Pneumonia | Source
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the bacteria that causes Pneumonia
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the bacteria that causes Pneumonia | Source
Pneumonia fills the lung's alveoli with fluid, hindering oxygenation. The alveolus on the left is normal, whereas the one on the right is full of fluid from pneumonia.
Pneumonia fills the lung's alveoli with fluid, hindering oxygenation. The alveolus on the left is normal, whereas the one on the right is full of fluid from pneumonia. | Source


Chest pain, asthma, headaches, tiredness or loss of appetite....Does your child complain any of this. This might probably be signs of pneumonia. It is estimated that pneumonia have claimed over 3 million children's life annually and more than one million Americans are hospitalized each year. It is a life-threatening disease for the younger children as well as elderly.

Pneumonia is an acute infection of lungs caused by bacteria, fungi or viral infection. It is a highly contagious disease which causes inflammation in the lung air sacs known as alveoli. When an individual is affected with pneumonia, the alveoli filled with pus or fluid makes it difficult to breath.

Symptoms of Pneumonia:

  • Fever, Sweating and shaking chills
  • Breathing problems
  • Cough
  • Stabbing or sharp chest pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Causes or transmission of Pneumonia:

Pneumonia are disseminated in a number of ways. People contract pneumonia when bacteria they usually carry in the nose or throat are spread to the lungs. They could be transmitted from person to person via air-borne droplets. Streptococcus pneumonia is one of the bacteria that causes bacterial pneumonia. Haemophilus influenza, Chlamydia pneumonia, Mycoplasma pneumonia, and Legionella pneumophila are some other major bacteria which accounts for pneumonia.

Risk factors:

Young children who are 2 years old or below and adults who are age 65 or older are at the higher risk of getting pneumonia which include:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Viral respiratory infection such as influenza, a cold or laryngitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
  • AIDS( Acquired Immunodeficiency Virus)
  • Emphysema
  • Diabetes
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Heart disease
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Recent surgery or Trauma

Types of Pneumonia: Some of the different types of pneumonia are as follows:

  • A milder version of pneumonia called Walking pneumonia is another form of infectious pneumonia which can make you miserable but is does not require hospitalization. It is a lung infection caused by a bacteria known as Mycoplasma pneumonia. A person generally feels very cold during this period and are seldom confined to bed. Headache, sore throat, rapid breathing, cold or flu are some of the common symptoms associated with walking pneumonia.
  • Community-acquired pneumonia is a common form of pneumonia contracted by a person in public places such as at school or at workplace.
  • Hospital-acquired pneumonia as the name implies is an infection of lungs that occurs during a hospital stay for a different health problem which usually develops when someone is being cared for in a healthcare facility. It could sometimes be deadly.
  • Aspiration pneumonia is an inflammation that develops after a person inhales foreign matter such as vomitus, gases or dust and
  • Opportunistic pneumonia a pneumonia that develops in an individual who has a weak immune system.


  • Medical History
  • Blood test is conducted to identify the type of organism that causes infection
  • Pulse Oximetry measures oxygen level in the blood
  • Sputum test: This test is performed by taking fluid sample from the lungs after a deep cough which help determine the type of infection.
  • Chest X-Ray is a painless test used for diagnosing pneumonia that captures images of the structures inside your chest, lungs, heart and blood vessels.
  • Mucus test is performed when the person is seriously ill, have severe shortness of breath
  • Rapid urine test is conducted which can spot some bacteria that causes pneumonia.
  • HIV test is a test that doctors generally recommend for people who have impaired immune systems
  • Pleural fluid culture is a type of test that is suggested by doctors for people older than age 65. A needle is inserted between the ribs to take fluid sample and analyzed to ascertain the type of infection.

Pneumonia can be diagnosed at home by consulting a health care provider. He listens and tap your chest for any crackling noises and dull thuds indicating fluid filled lungs. If the individual is confirmed with pneumonia, he request X-ray which reveals air sacs in the lungs filled with fluid and debris.

Treatments and Drugs :

Depending upon the age, health condition, type and intensity of pneumonia, following treatments and drugs are used:

  • Antibiotics: Bacterial pneumonia can be cured with antibiotics. Doctors may opt for a different antibiotic if there is no improvement in the health condition.
  • Paracetamol,Aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen are the drugs used to alleviate fever.
  • Pain relieving medications
  • Rest
  • Physiotherapy

An individual may take several weeks to fully recover from pneumonia. The cough may persist for a set period of time until the sputum have cleared away from the lungs.


  • Get flu vaccine once a year: As a result the spread of pneumonia can be arrested. One can reduce this risk by getting the yearly flu shot.
  • Maintain a healthy life style, eat a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables which in turn keeps your immune system strong
  • Practice Good hygiene habits: wash your hands regularly with lukewarm water and soap or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Quit smoking

Home remedies for pneumonia:

  • Chew a couple of holy basil leaves and swallow them to get rid of cough and flu.
  • Eating roasted garlic helps to fight against bacteria and strengthens the immune system.
  • Homemade ginger will reduce cough and lung irritation.
  • Boil fenugreek with some water, add few essence of lemon and drink. This will clear out all the fluids present in the lungs and alleviate your cough too.
  • Drinking a glass of carrot juice mixed with spinach juice will get rid of pneumonia completely.

World Pneumonia Day is observed each year on November12 to raise awareness among the public about pneumonia and to promote interventions to combat pneumonia. WHO in collaboration with UNICEF established a Global Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia back in 2009 and to advocate a global action plan to curtail pneumonia mortality in young children.

How can we fight this contagious disease?

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