Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi. When a person is infected with pneumonia the air sacs of the lungs called alveoli becomes inflamed and becomes filled with pus or fluid causing difficulty in breathing. This is in contrast to what happens when a healthy person breaths,where the alveoli will be filled with oxygen.

People at high risk for a Pnemonia infection

Children under the age of 5 years and older people with existing health challenges that weaken the immune system are at high risk of getting infected with Pnemonia infection.

Types of Pneumonia infection

There are different types of Pneumonia depending on the cause of the infection. These includes: 

1. Bacterial Pneumonia:

These are pneumonia caused by bacteria strains. The most common of the pneumonia-causing bacteria is the Steptococcus pneumonia (S.pneumonia). Other bacteria that causes pneumonia includes Mycoplasma pneumonia, Legionella pneumonia.

2. Viral Pneumonia: These are Pneumonia caused by viruses such as the respiratory syncytial viruses, Influenza type A and B, Rhino viruses, Measles, Chicken pox, Adenosine virus, Corona virus.

3. Fungi Pneumonia: These are Pneumonia caused by fungi

The most common fungi- causing pneumonia is the Coccidioides fungus which causes the condition known as Valley fever. People with weak immune system or with chronic health problems are at every high of contacting this fungi.

4. Hospital- acquired pneumonia: This is a type of Pneumonia that comes when people stay in a hospital to be treated for another illness.The chances getys higer did people who are on breathing machines (ventilators)and in the intensive care units. These hospital – acquired Pnemonias can be more resistant to antibiotics.

5. Aspiration pneumonia: This occurs when a person inhales a bacteria into his lungs through food,saliva, drink. It is more likely to occur in peope with swallowing problems.

Stages of Pneumonia

Pneumonia affect different areas of the lungs and those areas it affects can be used to classify the stages of pneumonia.

1. Broncho Pnemonia: This is when Pnemonia affects both lungs

2. Lobar Pneumonia: This is when Pneumonia affects one or both lobes of the lungs.

Symptoms of Pneumonia

The symptoms of Pnemonia can be mild to very severe which can be very life threatening. The symptoms includes: 

1. Coughing

2. Fever

3. Chest pain

4. Shortness of breath that usually appears when a person engages in normal physical activities or while a person is resting.

5. Loss of appetite

6. Nausea and vomiting that occurs mostly in small children

7. Sweating and shivering

8. Raoud heart beat

9. High temperature

10. Fatigue

11. Blueness of the lips

12. Belly pain

13. Wheezing

Diagnosis of Pnemonia

Diagnosing pneumonia may be difficult because the symptoms ate very similar to that of influenza or cold. Nevertheless the following procedures can be used to diagnose pneumonia: 

1. Physical Examination: The doctor will use his stethoscope to check your lungs. If pneumonia is present the lungs may be making cracking and rumbling sounds

2. Medical History: The doctor may carry out series of tests to know what caused the pneumonia. These includes

i. Blood tests: Blood from the patient’s body will be taken to be examined to identify the organisms causing the pneumonia infection.

2. Sputum tests: The sputum which is the mucus will be taken after a deep cough and be taken for examination to identify the organisms causing the pneumonia infection.

3. X- rays: X- rays of the lungs  should be conducted on the lungs to know the level of inflammation of the lungs.

4. Pulse oximetry: This is used to ascertain the oxygen level in the blood. Pneumonia can infect tge lungs and prevent it from moving enough oxygen into the blood stream.

5. Pleural fluid culture: The doctor can remove a small amount of fluid from around tissues that surrounds the lungs to be able to identify the germs causing the pneumonia.

6.CT scan: To obtain a clearer ajs more detailed picture of the lungs a CT scan should be conducted.

7. Bronchoscopy: A Bronchoscopy is ans instrument used to see the airways of the lungs. A camera is fixed on the end of a flexible tube that is gently inserted into the throat to the lungs.

Effects of untreated Pneumonia

When pneumonia is left untreated it can lead to complications such as: 

1. Liver and kidney damage

2. Breathing problems

3. Abscess of the lungs 

4. Severe respiratory problems

5. Death

Treatments of Pneumonia

The treatment for Pneumonia depends on the type of Pneumonia.

Antibiotics are use to traat pneumonia cause by bacteria. It can also be used to treat mycoplasma bacteria.

There are no specific treatments for viral pneumonia. But not to worry they usually get better on their own

Other ways to treat Pneumonia

1. Take more fluids into the body

2. Rest

3. Use pain relievers

4. Eat good diet

5. Take Cough medicine to treat severe cough

Prevention of Pneumonia

Pneumonia vaccine can give protection against the infection. It can be used to prevent an infection with the bacterial pneumonia. Thia vaccine is recommended for both young and old especially children under the age 5 and adult age 65 Ana and above


By Ekene Arodiogbu

Ekene Arodiogbu is the CEO of Excedel World. He loves to listen to good music and watch movies in his spare time.

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