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In the News: Understanding Pneumonia – Part I

Written by Lisa Jillanza

While COVID and RSV are two conditions typically highlighted in the news and health reports lately, pneumonia is often overlooked but still just as prevalent, if not more, than the aforementioned.

This month we look at pneumonia and all of the things you need to know about this illness.

What is pneumonia?

An infection of the air sacs in one or both the lungs. Characterized by severe cough with phlegm, fever, chills, and difficulty in breathing. 

What causes pneumonia?

An infection caused by a bacteria or virus. 

How is it spread?

Bacterial and viral pneumonia spread through inhalation of airborne droplets by coughing or sneezing.

What are the symptoms of pneumonia?

Symptoms may include:

  • Cough with mucus or phlegm
  • Fever usually of high grade with chills
  • Fast breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain while coughing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Feeling very tired or very weak
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Body pain
  • Severely affected patients my cough up blood or show cyanosis (have a blue color around the mouth due to lack of oxygen) 

What is the treatment for pneumonia? 

Both viral and bacterial pneumonia are treated with antibiotics. 

(continued in Part II…)