Is pneumonia contagious? Are you or a loved one suffering from pneumonia? Are you worried that it may spread to others or yourself? We have all the answers to your questions provided below.
To answer the question, “Is pneumonia contagious?” We must first identify what pneumonia is.
WHAT IS PNEUMONIA?
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. There are a large number of germs, including viruses, bacteria, and fungi, that can lead to pneumonia.
This infection causes the air sacs in your lungs to become inflamed. The air sacs, also known as aveoli, can become filled up with fluid, causing a cough that produces phlegm. It can also lead to the chills, fever, and difficulty breathing.
Pneumonia can be a serious illness for:
- Babies and young children
- Elderly adults
- People with chronic health problems
- Individuals with weak immune systems
Pneumonia is a relatively common illness. There are a variety of different treatments depending on the severity of pneumonia. Typically, oral antibiotics are given. The recovery time is typically 1 to 3 days.
People with weaker immune systems or severe symptoms may take as long as three weeks to recover. Lingering fatigue may also be an issue even after the person has recovered.
Is pneumonia contagious? The answer is no. However, germs that weaken the immune system can lead to pneumonia if spread.
Pneumonia symptoms often resemble the flu, so it can be difficult to diagnose at first.
Symptoms of pneumonia include:
- Shortness of breath
- Low body temperature
- Chills or shaking
- Chest pain when breathing
- Pain in the muscles
SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR?
Pneumonia can be very serious if left untreated. See a doctor if you experience a cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a fever over 102°F (39°C). If you have a pre-existing condition, it is urgent that she meet with a doctor, as the pneumonia can become life-threatening if not addressed.
There are a variety of different treatment options for pneumonia. Your age and your general overall health are factors that are used to determine which kind of treatment you may need.
Treatment options include:
The use of antibiotics to treat pneumonia can be tricky. First, the doctor must identify which bacteria is causing the problem. If that particular antibiotic does not work, the doctor may prescribe a different one.
If it is determined that the pneumonia was caused by a virus, antivirals may be prescribed. Antibiotics would be ineffective treatment for a viral case of pneumonia.
Your fever can be treated with ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, or acetaminophen.
Note: Do not give aspirin to children.
Cough medicine may be used to loosen phlegm.
you may need to be admitted to the hospital if you Exhibit 2 or more of the following conditions:
- You feel confused
- You are older than 65 years
- Your blood pressure becomes low
- You have rapid breathing
- You are in need of breathing assistance
Is pneumonia contagious? The short answer is no. However, you should take care to prevent yourself from catching the illness that caused the pneumonia.
Symptoms of Pneumonia
Pneumonia is a inflammatory condition of the lung that usually affects the alveoli or microscopic air sacs in the lungs. It is caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Bacterial is the most common with fungal being the least common. The most common symptoms in pneumonia patients include cough, chest pain, fever and also difficult breathing.
Coughing is the most frequent symptom occurring an estimated 79-91% of the time in patients. Fatigue is the 2nd most frequent symptom occurring an estimated 90% of the time. Fever with a frequency rate of 71-75%, shortness of breath at 67-75% and sputum at 60-65% are next in frequency. Chest pain is actually the least frequent symptom only occurring an estimated 39-49% of the time in pneumonia patients.
When affecting an elderly patient, confusion can be the most prominent symptom. When affecting children under the age of five, frequent symptoms are fever, cough and also fast or difficult breath. Fever is actually less of a specific symptom as it can occur with many other common childhood illnesses. As with fever, children under the age of two months will not display a cough when affected my pneumonia. There can also be severe symptoms that may include central cyanosis, decreased thirst, convulsions, persistent vomiting and a trouble with consciousness.
The main symptoms of infectious pneumonia can be broken down by area of the body. When dealing with the body as a whole, a high fever and chills can affect the patient. Clamminess and or blueness in the victim’s skin can be a sign that pneumonia is setting in. In the lungs, cough with phlegm or sputum, shortness of breath, pleuritic chest pain and or hemoptysis can affect the patient. Pneumonia can also affect the muscular system of a patient causing fatigue and also aches in the system. It can cause pain in the victims joints as well. The gastric system can also be affected by infectious pneumonia, with nausea and vomiting occurring. A patient’s vascular system can be affected with low brood pressure. Infectious pneumonia symptoms can also be seen in human’s two most important areas, the brain and heart. In the brain, headaches, loss of appetite and mood swings can all be symptoms of infectious pneumonia. In a person’s heart, a high heart rate can be a symptom.
The primary cause of pneumonia is due to infections. Some lesser common causes can include irritants and also the unknown. More than one hundred strains of microorganisms can cause pneumonia, but only a few are responsible for the majority of cases that occur.
William Osler coined the phrase “the captain of the men of death” in the nineteenth century when describing pneumonia. This has changed however as early as the 20th century with the advances of antibiotic therapy and vaccines, which greatly improved survival rates among patients with pneumonia. Even with these great advancements in modern day medicine, pneumonia is and remains a leading cause of death among the elderly, very young and chronically ill and those in third world.