Pneumonia in most places is still believed to be caused by exposure to cold weather or cold in general. This is not true. Many forms of the disease is treatable by Antibiotics. Some forms can be prevented by vaccines.
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What is Pneumonia
It is simply an infection of the Lungs that causes it to be filled with fluid or pus. It can be due to bacterial, fungal or viral causes.
The Lungs is the organ of the body that is responsible for breathing. The air (oxygen) your take in through your nose goes into the lungs, from where it goes to the rest of the body, through the blood. The air that has been used by the body (carbon dioxide) is also sent to the lungs that sends it out of your body through you nose.
When the lungs become filled with fluid or pus, it would not be able to perform this function effectively.
What Causes Pneumonia
Some bacterial or viral agents reduce the ability of the lungs to do its work causing pneumonia.
Examples of these agents are:
- Streptococcus: this is the commonest cause.
- Haemophilus Influenza: this is also known to cause pneumonia especially in children & elderly population.
Other organisms are Mycoplasma & Chlamydia pneumoniae, which are seen more often in young persons.
Viral agents causing Pneumonia includes; Coronavirus,
Symptoms of Pneumonia
Persons having this disease would show some of the following symptoms;
- Fever with chills, rigors, shivering and vomiting.
- Cough, followed by the production of sputum (spit) that maybe brown in colour.
- Some persons would have poor appetite and a headache.
- Others might have chest pain which some others may even be vomiting blood. This vomiting of blood is also seen in people with Tuberculosis, which is more deadlier than Pneumonia.
How Is Pneumonia Transmitted
Transmission of the organisms that causes pneumonia is through respiratory droplets. That is, if anyone that has the disease is around you and coughs. You can also become infected with it.
What is the Treatment for Pneumonia
The treatment depends on the severe nature of the disease. Treatment is with Antibiotics depending in the organism responsible for the disease.
Anyone with any if the symptoms above are to visit the hospital for confirmation of diagnosis & subsequent treatment.
Do not self-medicate.
Prevention of Pneumonia
Vaccination: against Influenza and pneumococcal should be given to every child. Note that this vaccination is free & is part of the Nigerian NPI schedule for immunization.