- Pneumonia is an infection causing inflammation in the lungs' air sacs, known as alveoli.
- The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus, leading to symptoms like coughing, fever, and difficulty breathing.
Types of Pneumonia
- Infectious: Caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
- Non-infectious: Typically caused by inhaling dust, chemicals, or allergens.
Focus: Viral Pneumonia
- Viral pneumonia is infectious pneumonia caused by influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), or coronaviruses.
- Viral pneumonia usually begins with inhaling virus-containing droplets, leading to lung infection and inflammation.
Symptoms of Pneumonia
- Mild: Cough with phlegm, low fever, fatigue.
- Moderate: Higher fever, chills, difficulty breathing.
- Severe: Very high fever, severe cough with phlegm or pus, chest pain, severe difficulty breathing.
Transmission of Viral Pneumonia
- It is transmitted through virus droplets, usually from infected people or contaminated surfaces.
- The virus enters the respiratory tract, multiplies, and spreads, causing symptoms and potentially leading to severe illness.
Pneumonia by the Numbers
- Pneumonia is the leading infectious cause of death in children under five worldwide, killing around 800,000 each year2.
- In the U.S., over 250,000 people require hospitalization for pneumonia annually, accounting for 1.3 million hospitalizations overall2.
- The risk of pneumonia increases with age, and males have a higher risk than females2.
Prevention and Treatment of Viral Pneumonia
- Prevention: Good hygiene, avoiding close contact with sick people, vaccinations for respiratory viruses, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Treatment: Supportive care, oxygen therapy, fluids, medications to reduce inflammation and fever, and occasionally, antiviral drugs. Recovery may take several weeks or longer, depending on the illness severity and the patient's overall health.