Pneumonia is a kind of infection which affects the lungs and may cause mild or some severe illness to people of all ages. Most of the times, doctors treat pneumonia with medicines but it totally depends upon what is the basic cause. If you are thinking about prevention, then yes there are some vaccines that can surely prevent some time of pneumonia. But still, in spite of vaccination, pneumonia is the largest cause of death in children who are less than 5 years.
In this article, we are going to provide you some information about its contagious nature, signs, and symptoms which will help you spot the disease and the complications that may arise.
Who can catch pneumonia? Is it contagious?
Pneumonia infection is basically caused by germs that are usually breathed in and these germs may be present in their nose and throat. And answering the question, yes pneumonia is completely contagious and can be passed on through coughs and sneezes or by merely touching and object and transferring germs on to it. People of all ages can catch this infection: infants, young children of all age group, old age people who are above 60 years of age, people with weak immune system and other health problems.
>Symptoms and warning signs of pneumonia
Infants and senior citizens are most commonly diagnosed with this infection as compared to other adults. So let us discuss some of the warning signs and symptoms of pneumonia that we believe will surely help you:
The most common symptom associated with pneumonia is coughing. It is the first alert that your body starts giving you that something is not going normal with your lungs.
As the time passes by, you may observe persistent coughing which becomes painful and requires suppressant syrups for its cure. The patient may also suffer from chest pain due to a persistent cough.
Fever is considered to be a primary symptom of pneumonia and often includes a high temperature which signifies that our body is attempting to fight off some serious infection.
So in case you are experiencing fever, that is not coming doing then you are in a need of medical treatment as there is a probability that this fever is associated with pneumonia.
In case the infection has permeated to some deeper levels up to lungs then a patient may start experiencing chills. Chills often begin when the muscles of your body start contracting in order to warm up the temperature of your body which has been decreased due to fever.
4. Thoracic Pain
Patients with pneumonia often suffer from chest pain because of restriction on the flow of oxygen to the blood. They may experience pain in either of the lungs or in both. In worst cases, the patient may experience heartburns also. So you need to be extra careful in case your child is showing some signs of pain in the thoracic region.
5. Digestive Problems
Patients having pneumonic infection may also suffer from liquid stools, diarrhea etc also. This is because of the improper digestion and a reduction in appetite.
6. Abnormal Cardiac Activity
In case you experience a noticeable change in the heart’s activity such as quickening pace of the heart then it is symptomatic of pneumonia. It is because of decreased supply of oxygen-rich supply of blood to the heart. So, if you notice signs of racing heart or chest pain we advise you to take these signs seriously and head towards some medical checkup for sure.
7. Vomiting and Nausea
As discussed earlier, pneumonia is strongly linked with the digestive problems also, so it is very common for patients to experience vomiting and nausea.
It is a severe type of pneumonia which is mostly caught by children younger than 5 years of age. Studies have shown that 1 out of 15 dies of this infection. In other cases, patients may have long-term effects and may have some other problems such as loss of hearing capability or delay in the proper development of the child.
Bacteremia is a type of pneumococcal disease which infects children younger than 5 years old and it basically infects the blood. Studies have shown that 1 out of 100 is believed to die out of this deadly disease and the chances increase more in the elderly patients.
Sinus and ear infections
These infections are usually milder than the other forms of pneumococcal diseases discussed above. In this case, the child may develop some ear infections and may also require ear tubes for proper hearing.