Published on: 20 Aug 2021
What is Pneumonia?
Is Pneumonia Contagious?
How is Pneumonia Spread from Person to Person?
- Greenish, yellow, or even red mucus can be produced by coughing.
- Fever, sweating, and chills.
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Sharp or stabbing chest pain that worsens when you breathe deeply or cough
- Loss of appetite, low energy, and fatigue.
- Nausea and vomiting, especially in young children.
- Confusion, especially in older people.
Is Pneumonia Curable?
- A chest X-ray to find the infection in your lungs and how far it has spread.
- Pulse oximetry to measure the level of oxygen in the blood.
- A sputum test to check the fluid in your lungs for the cause of an infection.
- An arterial blood gas test to measure oxygen in a small amount of blood drawn from one of your arteries.
- Bronchoscopy to check your airways for blockages or other problems.
- A CT scan to get a more detailed picture of your lungs.
- A pleural fluid culture, in which the doctor removes a small amount of fluid from the tissues around the lungs to look for bacteria that can cause pneumonia.
- Your symptoms are severe
- You’re at risk for complications because of other health problems
- Immune systems that have not fully matured in children and newborns
- Older people with weakened immune systems
- Pregnant women
- People taking medications that suppress the immune system
- People with diseases that weaken the immune system, such as cancer, HIV, and AIDS
- People with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Persons suffering from a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis (CF), or asthma
- People at risk for pneumonia should be especially careful around people who have recently had pneumonia or another respiratory infection.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes. Children under the age of 2 are at risk because their immune systems are still developing, and adults over 65 are at higher risk because, as we age, our immune systems slow down in responding to infection.
Viral pneumonia usually goes away on its own. Therefore, treatment focuses on alleviating some of the symptoms. A person with viral pneumonia should get enough rest and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
Pneumonia can range from mild to severe or life-threatening infection and can sometimes lead to death.
Pneumonia can be contagious for 2-14 days. Generally, the goal of medicines given for pneumonia is to limit the spread of the disease. A person with bacterial pneumonia will stop being contagious within two days after taking antibiotics.
Surprisingly, even with severe pneumonia, the lung usually recovers and has no lasting damage, although occasionally there may be some scars on the lung (rarely leading to bronchiectasis) or on the surface of the lung (the pleura).
First-line antibiotics that might be selected include the macrolide antibiotics azithromycin (Zithromax) or clarithromycin (Biaxin XL); or the tetracycline known as doxycycline.
Some of the viruses that cause colds and flu can cause pneumonia. Viruses are the most common cause of pneumonia in children younger than 5 years old. Viral pneumonia is usually mild. But in some cases, it can become very serious.