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All about pneumonia types of pneumonia walking pneumonia aspiration pneumonia bacterial pneumonia viral pneumonia bronchial pneumonia community-acquired pneumonia hospital-acquired pneumonia atypical pneumonia causes of pneumonia risk factors for pneumonia complications of pneumonia symptoms of pneumonia diagnosis of pneumonia treatment for pneumonia prevention of pneumonia

What is viral pneumonia?

Viral pneumonia is caused by various viruses and accounts for half of all cases of pneumonia. Early symptoms of viral pneumonia are the same as those of bacterial pneumonia, which may be followed by increasing breathlessness and a worsening of the cough. Viral pneumonias may make a person susceptible to bacterial pneumonia. Viral pneumonia is usually milder than bacterial pneumonia. Bacterial pneumonia tends to occur more suddenly and cause higher fevers

(often over 104°F, or 40°C). Also, usually larger patches (infiltrates) are visible on the chest x-ray, when the lung is affected by bacterial pneumonia than by viral pneumonia.

In children, the respiratory syncytial virus is the most common agent. It may be indistinguishable from acute bacterial bronchitis or bronchiolitis and is often accompanied by a skin rash. It is unresponsive to antibiotics. Adenovirus may produce viral pneumonia in children and young adults. It more commonly causes upper respiratory tract disease with prominent rhinitis but on occasion, may produce lower respiratory tract disease, including bronchiolitis and pneumonia. In adults the principle viral cause of pneumonia is influenza A virus. This usually occurs during epidemics of influenza A - Asian 'flu - but is very rare. The condition develops rapidly with progressive dyspnoea; acute haemorrhagic disease of the lungs may cause death within hours. However, the most common cause of pneumonia during influenza epidemics is secondary bacterial infection, usually with Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Most cases of viral pneumonia are mild and get better without treatment, but some cases are more serious and require hospitalization. People at risk for more serious viral pneumonia typically have impaired immune systems such as people with HIV, transplant patients, young children (especially those with heart defects), the elderly, and people taking medications to suppress their immune systems in the treatment of autoimmune disorders.

Antibiotics are not effective in treating viral pneumonia. Some of the more serious forms can be treated with antiviral medications. Other supportive care for viral pneumonia includes use of humidified air, increased fluids, and oxygen.. Hospitalization may be necessary to prevent dehydration and to help with breathing if the infection is serious.

More information on pneumonia

What is pneumonia? - Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung caused by infection with bacteria, viruses, or other organisms.
What types of pneumonia are there? - Types of pneumonia are bacterial pneumonia, viral pneumonia, mycoplasma pneumonia, pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, aspiration (or inhalation) pneumonia.
What is walking pneumonia? - Walking pneumonia is pneumonia that is usually mild enough that the child does not have to stay in bed.
What is aspiration pneumonia? - Aspiration pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs and bronchial tubes caused by inhaling foreign material.
What is bacterial pneumonia? - Bacterial pneumonia is pneumonia caused by bacteria. Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia.
What is viral pneumonia? - Viral pneumonia is caused by various viruses. Viral pneumonia is usually milder than bacterial pneumonia.
What is bronchial pneumonia? - Bronchial pneumonia is when the pneumonia spreads to several patches in one or both lungs.
What is community-acquired pneumonia? - Community-acquired pneumonia occurs most commonly in very young and very old people.
What is hospital-acquired pneumonia? - Hospital-acquired pneumonia, also called nosocomial pneumonia, is an infection that patients get while they're in the hospital.
What is atypical pneumonia? - Atypical pneumonia is a pneumonia that does not respond to the usual antibiotic treatment.
What causes pneumonia? - Pneumonia is caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites or other organisms such as Streptococcus pneumoniae.
What're the risk factors for pneumonia? - Alcohol or drug abuse is strongly associated with pneumonia. The elderly and infants and young children are at greater risk of pneumonia.
What're the complications of pneumonia? - Complications of pneumonia that may occur include buildup of fluid in the space between the lung and chest wall.
What are the symptoms of pneumonia? - Symptoms of pneumonia are shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, shallow, and fever and chills.
How is pneumonia diagnosed? - The diagnosis of pneumonia is usually made from a medical history, a physical examination, and a chest X-ray.
What's the treatment for pneumonia? - Treatment of pneumonia consists of respiratory support, including O2 if indicated, and antibiotics.
How to prevent pneumonia? - Vaccines are available to protect against pneumococcal pneumonia, pneumonia caused by the bacterium.
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