Pneumonia, or pneumonia as it is commonly known, is the filling of the air sacs in the lung with an inflamed fluid. Pneumonia, which is caused by viruses, bacteria and rarely fungal infections reaching the lungs, is highly contagious. Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of death in children aged 0-4 years in our country.
The disease can be seen at any age, but pneumonia can be very dangerous in children under the age of 2, in people with a very weak immune system, and in people over the age of 65. Pneumonia is more common in children with heart disease or previous lung disease, and in premature births.
According to the data of the World Health Organization, 1-2 out of 100 people in the world catch pneumonia every year. Since pneumonia symptoms are often confused with upper respiratory infection, coronavirus symptoms and flu, patients may apply to the doctor late, which leads to the progression of the disease and delays in treatment. About 7% of all deaths in the world are thought to be due to pneumonia.
Especially those with chronic diseases such as COPD, diabetes, heart disease and kidney failure; Young children, pregnant women and the elderly need to consult a doctor for pneumonia vaccine to protect against pneumonia.
How İs İt Transmitted ?
Influenza and similar viral respiratory tract infections that predispose to pneumonia are highly contagious. They can be spread by sneezing and coughing, as well as by contact with items such as mouth, glass, handkerchief, cutlery, door handle, and then by contact with hands to mouth.
It is very important that the sick person does not approach the elderly, pregnant women and children. Public transport and crowded places also increase the risk.
Although rare, the escape of mouth and stomach contents into the respiratory tract and breathing in some chemicals can also cause pneumonia.
Vaccines are an important way to prevent pneumonia. The Ministry of Health reported that all children should be vaccinated against pneumonia at the end of the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 12th months in the national vaccination calendar. In addition, it is very important for people with risk factors, especially over the age of 65, to consult their physician regarding the issue.
Things To Pay Attention
-Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, especially after touching your nose and mouth and before handling food.
-Throw away the tissue you use after coughing and sneezing and wash your hands if possible.
-Do not share glasses or utensils with others.
-Cigarettes, alcohol etc. Avoid habits that suppress and weaken your immune system.
Causes Of The Pneumonia
Pneumonia is most often the result of infection by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae. It is known that 50% of community-acquired pneumonia is caused by this bacterium. In addition, various bacteria such as Haemophilus influenza, Mycoplasma pneumoniae can also cause pneumonia.
In addition, viruses that cause seasonal colds and flu such as rhinovirus, coronavirus, influenza, adenovirus, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) that cause bronchiolitis, especially in children, can also cause pneumonia.
Fungal pneumonia is very rare and occurs in people with a very low immune system.
Especially with the cold weather, the incidence of pneumonia increases. Simply put, the symptoms of this disease are the same as other upper respiratory tract infections. The symptoms following a runny nose, sneezing, coughing appear after a while.
Pneumonia is often confused with coronavirus (COVID-19) or flu, and being late in treatment can cause serious problems, even life-threatening. High fever, chest and flank pain and general condition deterioration that does not exceed 3 days are important signs in differentiating pneumonia from flu.
Symptoms of Pneumonia
-Chills and shivering
-Persistent yellow-green sputum
-Fatigue and weakness
-Abdominal pain and bloating
-Vomiting or feeling like vomiting
-Confusion in people over 65 years of age
Pneumonia is a serious disease and needs to be quickly diagnosed and treated. Your doctor will first listen to your complaints and perform a physical examination after taking your medical history. Examination of the lungs is very important in the diagnosis of pneumonia.
In addition to the physical examination, your physician may request tests such as chest X-ray, computed tomography, blood tests, sputum culture in order to confirm the diagnosis and guide the treatment, depending on your clinical condition.
In the treatment of pneumonia, the patient's clinical condition, age, type of causative bacteria or virus, radiological and laboratory findings, and personal risk factors are taken into account.
If there are signs of respiratory failure, it may be appropriate to carry out the treatment in the hospital. However, if the general condition and clinical findings of the patient are appropriate, the treatment can be performed at home and followed up to be called for control at close intervals.
Antibiotic therapy is not generally used in pneumonia caused by viruses. In such cases, your doctor will advise you to rest and drink plenty of fluids and, if appropriate, may prescribe some medications to reduce your complaints.
If your symptoms are severe or you have other conditions that increase your chance of complications, treatment may need to continue in the hospital. Antibiotic treatment is applied in pneumonia caused by bacteria. Rest is very important in pneumonia. You may feel mild weakness for a month after the disease has healed.
The fact that patients do not go to the doctor and use antibiotics on their own makes the disease much worse and increases the danger. It is absolutely necessary to avoid the use of drugs with the recommendation of a partner without going to the doctor. The excessive use of antibiotics and the selection of inappropriate drugs may cause the development of resistant microorganisms and thus reduce the success of the actual treatment.