Health

Symptoms Of Walking Pneumonia

Symptoms Of Walking Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an inflammatory disease that can affect one or both lungs. Many microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, can cause pneumonia, but pneumonia can also result from inhaling a liquid or chemical. The subjects most at risk are adults over 65 and children under 2 years of age, or people already suffering from health problems. This article will give you a complete guide about symptoms of walking pneumonia, causes & Treatment.

Symptoms can range from mild to severe, but typically the main symptoms of pneumonia are:

  • high fever,
  • pounding chills,
  • productive cough, which does not improve or even gets worse,
  • wheezing during normal daily activities,
  • chest pain associated with breathing or coughing,
  • sudden worsening after a cold or flu.

Doctors make the diagnosis based on history, physical examination, and laboratory evaluations. Treatment involves the combination of symptomatic support and one aimed at the cause of pneumonia:

  • If bacterial, antibiotics are useful.
  • If viral, treatment may require antiviral drugs.

However, preventing pneumonia is always better than treating it; for this purpose, vaccines prevent pneumococcal and flu pneumonia. Other preventative measures include frequent hand washing and smoking cessation.

Lungs

Pneumonia is a lung infection, so a quick review of the respiratory system’s anatomy and the immune system’s role in preventing lung infections may be helpful. When we inhale the air, it first passes through the mouth and nose, then through the pharynx, and then through the larynx.

The larynx, on the top, is divided into two parts:

  • At the front is the trachea, which carries air to the lungs.
  • In the back is the esophagus, a tube that ends up in the stomach.

Before swallowing, the throat is empty, the trachea is open, and it is possible to breathe. When we swallow food, it ends up in the throat, and the trachea closes; at this point, the foot slips into the duct leading to the stomach. Given the closure of the trachea, we temporarily stop breathing. When the food has passed through the throat, the trachea reopens, and we can start breathing again.

Cause

Pneumonia can be due to

  • battery,
  • virus
  • and mushrooms.

These infections cause inflammation of the lung air sacs, the so-called alveoli. Inflammation causes these alveoli to fill with fluid and pus.

Battery

They are the most common causes in adults. Many bacteria can potentially trigger pneumonia, but in Western countries, Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is most common.

We speak instead of atypical pneumonia if the bacterial agent falls into the following types:

  • Legionella pneumophila. This type of pneumonia is also called Legionnaires’ disease; it is due to a bacterium that has been at the origin of serious epidemics.
  • Mycoplasma pneumonia. It is a prevalent type of bacterium that typically affects people under 40. People living or working in crowded places, such as schools, homeless shelters, and prisons, are particularly at risk. Generally, these are mild forms that respond well to antibiotics but can sometimes also affect very severely. The disease can be associated with skin rashes and hemolysis. This bacterium type is a frequent cause of “walking pneumonia,” alluding to the fact that the symptoms are generally not to force the patient to bed.
  • Chlamydia pneumoniae. This type of pneumonia can occur in any season and is often mild. Mostly, it affects people between 65 and 79 years old.

Bacterial pneumonia can develop as such or as a complication of a viral cold or the flu. Often, pneumonia affects only one lobe (area) of a lung. In these cases, we speak of lobar pneumonia.

Sometimes, bacteria can enter the lungs and cause it to become infected. Infection is more likely if:
  • the immune system is weak; the germ is particularly virulent,
  • the body cannot filter bacteria from the air breathed in. For example, this can happen in subjects unable to cough, following a stroke, or because they are sedated; in the absence of an effective cough, bacteria more easily remain in the airways.

When the bacteria reach the lungs, the immune system kicks in, sending various cells to fight the germs. These cells cause inflammation of the alveoli, which can fill with fluid and pus. This gives rise to the symptoms of walking pneumonia.

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Virus

  • Viruses that infect the airways can cause pneumonia.
  • The influenza virus is the most common cause of viral pneumonia in adults.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), on the other hand, is the most frequent cause of pneumonia in children before the age of two. Viruses such as colds (rhinovirus), parainfluenza, and human metapneumovirus (HMPV) can also cause infection.

Most viral pneumonia is mild, but sadly there are dramatic exceptions such as Covid-19 viral pneumonia. These infections spontaneously improve within 1 to 3 weeks, without treatment, only sporadically are they more severe and may need hospital treatment. Anyone who contracts viral pneumonia is at risk for bacterial pneumonia.

Mushrooms

Pneumocystis pneumonia is a severe infectious form caused by the fungus Pneumocystis jirovecii. The fungus attacks people with weakened immune defenses from HIV / AIDS or from prolonged use of drugs that suppress the immune system, such as those used to treat cancer or prevent rejection in organ or bone marrow transplants.

Polmonite ingests

Pneumonia with aspiration is inflammation that develops following the entry of material into the bronchi, typically food or saliva from the mouth or stomach; due to the irritation that follows, bacteria can find fertile ground and trigger bacterial pneumonia.

Risk factors

Various factors, including

  • age,
  • smoke,
  • health conditions,

the risks of becoming infected and becoming more seriously ill increase.

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Age

Pneumonia can affect patients of all ages, but there are two groups most at risk of infection and severity of the disease:

  • Young children (ages 2 and under), because their immune systems are still developing.
  • Older adults (aged 65 and over), because their immune system also begins to suffer from a normal aging process.

Environment and lifestyle

The risk of pneumonia may increase with exposure to certain chemicals and pollutants or toxic fumes. The smoke of a cigarette, the ‘ abuse of alcohol, and malnutrition increase the risk of pneumonia.

Other medical conditions

Other factors and conditions also increase the risk of getting the infection. In particular:

  • Ineffective cough or trouble swallowing, following a stroke, or for other reasons.
  • Inability to move effectively or sedation.
  • Recent cold or flu.

Lung disease or other serious illness such as

  • cystic fibrosis,
  • asthma,
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),
  • bronchiectasis,
  • diabetes,
  • heart failure,
  • sickle cell anemia.
  • Hospitalization in intensive care, especially if in assisted ventilation (breathing through a machine).
  • The weak or suppressed immune system from HIV / AIDS, organ or stem cell transplantation of bone marrow and blood, chemotherapy (a type of cancer treatment ), or prolonged use of steroids.

Symptoms

Pneumonia can range from mild to severe. Some people are at greater risk of developing a severe form or with even life-threatening complications. If bacteria cause pneumonia, the symptom that first appears in a short time is fatigue, accompanied by a high fever and breathing difficulties. If the cause is a virus, the symptoms appear more gradually and may be less severe.

The characteristic symptoms of walking pneumonia are:

  • high fever,
  • pounding chills,
  • cough with sputum (a viscous substance), which does not improve or worsen,
  • wheezing during normal daily activities,
  • chest pain associated with breathing or coughing,
  • sudden worsening after a cold or flu.

Other symptoms, such as can also accompany pneumonia

  • nausea (feeling of stomach discomfort ),
  • He retched
  • and diarrhea.

Symptoms of walking pneumonia may vary in certain groups of people. For example, infants and young children may not show any signs of infection and/or may have a fever and cough, appear agitated and sick, or tired and apathetic.

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When to call the doctor

If you think you have pneumonia, see your doctor right away, as if severe, it can be very dangerous or even fatal.

In particular, see your doctor if one or more of these symptoms do not go away:

  • cough,
  • wheezing,
  • chest pain when breathing,
  • fever of unknown origin: especially in the case of values ​​above 39 ° C which persist for two days or more and are accompanied by chills and strong sweating,
  • if you feel suddenly sick after a cold or the flu.

If you think your child has pneumonia, take him to the pediatrician immediately.

See your doctor immediately even in these cases:

  • if you are elderly,
  • if you drink too much,
  • You are having chemotherapy,

Patients with diseases that compromise the immune system (such as AIDS ), other chronic conditions, such as asthma, or those undergoing cancer therapy or undergoing a transplant are particularly vulnerable to pneumonia.

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Complications: symptoms of walking pneumonia

In most cases, people with pneumonia have an excellent prognosis, but from a general point of view, the possible complications are:

  • Bacteremia and septic shock. Bacteremia is a serious complication, which consists of contamination of the blood by bacteria. It can lead to septic shock, potentially fatal.
  • Pulmonary abscess. Lung abscess is typically treated with antibiotics. However, sometimes it is necessary to drain the pus surgically or aspirate it with a needle.
  • Pleural effusion, empyema, and pleurisy. These are painful and even life-threatening complications that can occur if pneumonia is not treated. The pleura is a membrane made up of two large thin sheets of tissue. One sheet envelops the outside of the lung, while the other covers the inside of the thoracic cavity.
  • The irritation and inflammation of these two leaves constitute pleurisy, which causes excruciating pain with each breath.
  • The space between the two pleural sheets (pleural space) is normally minimal; the accumulation of fluid in the pleural space is called pleural effusion.
  • If the liquid is infected, it is called empyema. When this happens, it may need to be drained through a thoracic cannula or surgically removed.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Respiratory failure.

Diagnosis

It is sometimes difficult to diagnose because walking pneumonia symptoms may be similar to those found in people with a cold or flu. You may not realize the severity until you realize the symptoms last longer than in those conditions.

Pneumonia will be diagnosed based on history, physical examination, and instrumental examinations. The type of pneumonia can be diagnosed based on how the disease was contracted and the germ causing the infection.

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Diagnostic analyzes

If you have suspected pneumonia, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests:

  • Chest x-ray to identify inflammation of the lungs. X-rays are the best way to diagnose pneumonia. However, the method does not say what kind of germ is causing the disease.
  • Blood tests, such as a complete blood count, determine if the immune system reacts to the infection.
  • Blood culture, to see if any bacterial infection has also contaminated the blood. If so, the doctor has the elements to decide how to treat the infection.

Other tests may be useful in hospitalized patients, in cases with severe symptoms, in elderly subjects, or with concomitant diseases:

  • sputum examination,
  • computed tomography ( CT ) scan of the chest,
  • culture of pleural exudate,
  • pulse oximetry,

Healing and therapy

Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia, the microorganism that causes it, and the severity. Most people with community-acquired pneumonia (the most common form) are treated at home. Therapy aims to cure the infection and prevent complications.

Bacterial pneumonia

It is treated with drugs known as antibiotics. Antibiotics will be taken as prescribed. The patient should continue treatment even if he felt better before completing the course of the antibiotic. If treatment is stopped too soon, pneumonia can recur.

Most people get better after 1 to 3 days on antibiotics. In practice, the patient feels better, and symptoms of walking pneumonia such as cough and fever decrease.

Viral pneumonia

In these cases, antibiotics are not effective, except when prescribed to cover superinfections; treatment may require antiviral drugs instead.

Viral pneumonia typically improves in 1 to 3 weeks.

Treatment of severe symptoms: Symptoms Of Walking Pneumonia

Hospitalization may be necessary if:

  • Symptoms are severe.
  • People are at risk of complications from other health problems.

If blood oxygenation is low, oxygen therapy can be given, while in the case of bacterial pneumonia, antibiotics can be administered intravenously.

Lifestyle

Once you have contracted pneumonia, several strategies are useful for healing and promoting the prevention of complications.

  1. Get adequate rest.
  2. Respect the treatment plan established by the doctor and take all medicines as prescribed. If on antibiotics, continue treatment until complete recovery. You should continue treatment even if you feel better before completing the course of the antibiotic. If treatment is stopped too soon, the bacterial infection and pneumonia can return.
  3. Ask your doctor when to have a follow-up visit. Your doctor may recommend a chest X-ray to check for the healing of the infection.

Pneumonia can last a long time.

  • Some people improve and can resume their routine within a week.
  • Others may take a month or more.
  • Many continue to feel tired for about a month.

Consult your doctor about when to resume your activities.

With pneumonia

  • limit contacts with cohabitants and friends,
  • cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, throw away used handkerchiefs immediately and wash your hands.

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