What is pneumonia?

A common lung infection caused by a virus, fungi or bacterium is called pneumonia. It can be mild or severe. This lung condition can be cured with proper treatment. Treatments depend on the causes, severity, age and overall health of the patient. Usually, it takes two-three weeks to recover from this lung condition. It can cause fever, cough and hard time breathing in a patient. Most likely, this infection can develop after a cold or flu. Breathing the germs into the lungs is the way how it starts in people.

What are the signs and symptoms of pneumonia?

Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Mild or high fever

  • Cough

  • Shaking chills

  • Shortness of breath

  • Headache

  • Loss of appetite

  • Fatigue

  • Sharp chest pain

The symptoms may vary for bacterial and viral pneumonia.

What causes pneumonia?

Most common cause of pneumonia is the virus. It can also be caused by fungi. People with weaker immune system are more prone to catch the germs from the air. This lung condition in adult over 30 years are usually caused by bacteria.

Is pneumonia contagious?

According to experts, it is not contagious. Instead, the bacteria, fungi or the virus that cause this lung condition is contagious. However, this lung infection is a simple infection which can be treated easily. Experts also point that, virus pneumonia is easier to spread than fungal and bacterial pneumonia. Many people are confused about a new term called ‘walking pneumonia’. Even though the name sounds strange, the condition is not dangerous. It is a mild infection caused by a germ called mycoplasma. However, walking pneumonia is contagious and can spread like a common fever or cold. It does not require serious hospital treatment.

How is pneumonia diagnosed?

Apart from physical examination, the doctor may suggest for a:

  • CBC blood test

  • CT scan

  • Sputum tests

  • Bronchoscopy

  • Arterial blood gases

How is pneumonia treated?

The treatment may vary according to the type of pneumonia. It is important to start treatments as early as possible. It does not require any aggressive treatment. Common treatment options include:

  • Antibiotics- It is usually prescribed for bacterial pneumonia

  • Antiviral drugs- To treat pneumonia caused by certain kinds of viruses

  • Supportive treatments- To relieve the symptoms and accompanied health issues.

It may take one or two weeks to recover from this lung condition. For a young and healthy individual, it takes around one week to get back to normal life. It may take few more weeks for a middle-aged person.