Pneumonia Facts

What is Pneumonia?

 

Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that is most commonly caused by viruses or bacteria that affects the lungs.

The lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli, which fill with air when a healthy person breathes. When an individual has pneumonia, the alveoli are filled with pus and fluid, which makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake. Pneumonia is generally spread by direct contact with infected people.

 

Facts

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that is usually caused by bacteria or viruses. Globally, pneumonia causes more deaths than any other infectious disease.

Pneumonia can be prevented by immunization, adequate nutrition, and by addressing environmental factors.

Pneumonia caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics, but only one third of children with pneumonia receive the antibiotics they need.

 

Causes

Pneumonia is caused by a number of infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria and fungi. The most common are:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae – the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children;
  • Haemophilusinfluenzae type b (Hib) – the second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia; respiratory syncytial virus is the most common viral cause of pneumonia; in infants infected with HIV, Pneumocystis jiroveci is one of the most common causes of pneumonia, responsible for at least one quarter of all pneumonia deaths in HIV-infected infants.

 

Transmission

Pneumonia can be spread in a number of ways. The viruses and bacteria that are commonly found in a child`s nose or throat, can infect the lungs if they are inhaled. They may also spread via air-borne droplets from a cough or sneeze. In addition, pneumonia may spread through blood, especially during and shortly after birth. 

 

Symptoms

  • High fever up to 105 F