Pneumonia is a lung inflammation caused due to bacterial or fungal invasion of the respiratory tract. It can affect single or both the lungs depending on the severity of the condition. Bacteria are the main causative organisms. Virus, fungi, parasites and mycoplasma can also cause varying degrees of pneumonia in people of all age groups.
These microorganisms are air borne. When a person infected with pneumonia coughs, sneezes or speaks too loudly, tiny droplets carrying these microorganisms are released into the environment. When a healthy individual walks near the infected person or is in close proximity with the infected person, there are high chances of the person inhaling the contaminated air droplets. These microorganisms will then enter the healthy individual’s respiratory system and affect his lungs leading to inflammation. Sometimes, these droplets settle on the soil or ground. While sweeping or dusting, the droplets are brushed into the atmosphere causing further spread of the disease. Being air borne in nature, the spread of disease is fast and affects a large set off population in a very less time.
Initial symptoms are similar to that of common flu. A prolonged bout of unproductive cough is a major symptom. Alternating fever and sudden chills make the person feel tired and lethargic. Congestion of lungs and difficulty in breathing is also observed. A lung examination will help diagnose the condition. Prompt diagnosis and treatment will increase the chances of survival manifold.
Younger children, aged people, asthma patients, people suffering from low immunity are particularly susceptible. The condition might become fatal in such cases if immediate treatment is not administered to the patient.
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