How to recognize and protect yourself from Pneumonia

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How to recognize and protect yourself from Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation in the lungs and affects millions of Americans each year. While it is often not a severe disease, it can be life-threatening, especially for the very young, the elderly, and people with chronic conditions. Because the lung is such a large organ and it directly connected to the outside world, it can easily come in contact with different infection causing microorganisms, especially in people who already have a compromised immune system. Furthermore because the lungs provide oxygen to the blood stream, in severe cases the infection can spread into the blood if left untreated.

Most organisms that cause pneumonia are influenza viruses, which is why there is such an emphasis on protection through the flu vaccine. Once pneumonia-causing organisms invade lung tissues, air sacs in the lungs fill with fluid and pus, making it hard to breathe. This is why symptoms are most frequently cough, fever, fatigue, and nausea.

Pneumonia that develops through day-to-day social interaction leading to germ exposure is known as community-acquired pneumonia. Hospital-acquired pneumonia refers to patients who become infected in a healthcare facility. This usually occurs when pneumonia free patients are exposed to microorganisms from another patient. They can come into contact with these germs through healthcare workers.

Treatment for pneumonia depends on the cause of the infection: antibiotics for bacterial pneumonia, antiviral medications for some types of viral pneumonia, and antifungal drugs if the pneumonia is traced to fungi.

Preventing Pneumonia:

  • practice good hygiene -avoid smoking and other lunch irritants
  • get vaccinated (visit for information on flu vaccines)
  • know the signs and seek treatment early


For more info visit:

How to recognize and protect yourself from Pneumonia

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