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Pneumonia: Types, Causes, Treatment

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Pneumonia is a disease in one or both lungs caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. However, bacterial pneumonia is the most common type found in adults. Pneumonia causes alveoli, which is inflammation in the air sacs in your lungs. The alveoli can make breathing difficult because the alveoli fill with fluid or pus.

The most common type of bacteria which can cause pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae. Other major ones are Haemophilus influenzae and Chlamydia pneumoniae. The most common type of viral pneumonia is caused by Influenza virus A and B. Others include Respiratory syncytial virus and Human parainfluenza virus. Viral pneumonia is often less intense and lasts shorter than bacterial pneumonia. The most common cause for fungal pneumonia is caused by a fungus known as Exosmosis.

Pneumocystis pneumonia and Endosmosis can also cause fungal pneumonia. Fungi is frequently found in soil or bird droppings. People catch pneumonia from inhaling large amounts of the organism. Fungi is known for causing pneumonia in people with weakened immune systems. Pneumocystis jirovecii is known for attacking people with weakened immune systems. Mycoplasmas can also cause weak cases of pneumonia in mostly teenagers.

The main symptom of pneumonia is having a fever as high as 40.6oC. The elderly may have a lower-than-normal body temperature. Infants may vomit, lack energy and have trouble eating and drinking. It may also cause death; it caused 920,136 children under the age of five to lose their lives in 2015; accounting for 16% of all deaths of children under five. You become infected by fungal pneumonia from the environment, and it doesn’t spread from person to person. However, both viral and bacterial pneumonia are contagious. The transmission of pneumonia happens through the inhalation of airborne droplets from a sneeze or cough.

Everybody is at a risk of catching pneumonia, but there are particular people who are more vulnerable of catching pneumonia. Infants and the elderly, people with weakened immune systems – from the consequences of smoking, excessive amounts of alcohol and misuse of drugs – and people with chronic medical conditions.

There are drugs like antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal to help treat pneumonia. Over-the-counter medication can also help to ease pain and fever. There are also cough medicines, but coughing helps eliminate fluid from the lungs. You can also treat pneumonia by taking lots of rest – which means not going to school or work – and drinking plenty of water. In the hospital, they use intravenous antibiotics, respiratory therapy and oxygen therapy.

Not only can vaccination prevent you from pneumonia, but there are also a variety of different techniques used to protect yourself from pneumonia. You could stop doing things which decrease your immune system, like smoking. Remember to also always stay hygienic; washing your hands routinely and covering your coughs and sneezes. You could also enhance your immune system by: getting enough sleep and rest; maintaining a healthy diet; and systematically exercising.

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