Pneumonia – some perspectives on causes, diagnosis, and prevention


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Pneumonia is a lung infection that results in the inflammation of the air sacs, which may then fill up with fluid causing cough accompanied by fever, chills, and difficulty in breathing. A large number of viruses, bacteria, and fungi can cause pneumonia. The severity can range from mild to life-threatening; the most susceptible are the very young, the old, and those with health problems resulting in weakened immune systems.


In its mild form, pneumonia symptoms resemble that of cold or flu, however, many people experience shortness of breath, chest pain when coughing or breathing, confusion, plenty of production of phlegm, fatigue, fever, shaking chills, and sweating, vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea, restlessness, and loss of appetite. Old people of over 65 years of age or children below two and those with underlying health issues leading to deficiencies in the immune system are especially at risk and should seek immediate medical attention. Persons who are or have been hospitalized or have chronic diseases like, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, asthma, or those who smoke tobacco or abuse drugs are at special risk.


Typically, if the doctor suspects pneumonia, he will order blood tests that will reveal the presence of the bacteria. It is quite common for the tests to employ polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique to amplify trace amounts of DNA of the bacteria so that a positive identification can be made. Advancements in technology and the use of chemicals and enzymes commonly available from https://www.mybiosource.com/ in Real-time PCR have made the task relatively easier. After the DNA amplification, the comparison with known-source nucleotide segments enables identification of aberrations that can confirm the onset of pneumonia.


Common bacteria and viruses present in the air around us can cause pneumonia when our bodies are unable to prevent them from infecting us due to a weakened immune system. Pneumonia is generally classified on the basis of where the infection is contracted from. In cases of community-acquired pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria infection is most common with bacteria-like organisms, fungi, and viruses also affecting a lot of people.

Many people contract pneumonia during a stay in the hospital; the infection can be severe as the bacteria may be more resistant to antibiotics, and people may already be weak from other diseases. Even people visiting the outpatient clinics or living in long-term care facilities may suffer from severe pneumonia due to increased exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Aspiration pneumonia may also develop on inhalation of food and drink, saliva or vomit if the normal gag reflex is impaired due to any reason.


Although pneumonia can be treated quite effectively when diagnosed on time, it still is among the diseases that can be prevented with some effort. Speak to your doctor regarding vaccination, especially for children, and practice good hygiene, taking special care to wash hands before eating and taking regular baths. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly, sleeping enough, and eating well. Quitting smoking is vital to prevent damage to the natural defense mechanism of your lungs.