Pneumonia is a general term referring to an infection of the lungs that can be caused by a variety of micro-organisms, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Often pneumonia begins after an upper respiratory tract infection (an infection of the nose and throat). When this happens, symptoms of pneumonia begin after two or three days of a cold or sore throat.
When pneumonia is caused by bacteria, the infected person usually becomes sick relatively fast, with the sudden onset of high fever and unusually rapid breathing. When pneumonia is caused by viruses, symptoms tend to appear more gradually and are often less severe than in bacterial pneumonia. Wheezing may be more common in viral pneumonia.
Some types of pneumonia cause symptoms that give important clues about which germ is causing the illness. For example, in older children and adolescents, pneumonia due to MYCOPLASMA ("walking pneumonia") is notorious for causing sore throat and headache in addition to the usual symptoms of pneumonia. In infants, pneumonia due to CHLAMYDIA may cause conjunctivitis (redness of the eyes) with only mild illness and no fever. In pneumonia due to Pertussis (the whooping cough bacteria) the child may have long coughing spells, turn blue from lack of air, or make a classic "whoop" sound when trying to take a breath.
Pneumonia is a lung infection that can be caused by different types of germs, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Although different types of pneumonia tend to affect people in different age groups, pneumonia is most commonly caused by viruses. Some viruses that cause pneumonia:
- Influenza Virus (FLU)
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
- Parainfluenza Virus
The term "double pneumonia" is an old-fashioned term meant to indicate that the pneumonia involved both lungs. This term, though impressive-sounding, has little clinical significance, since pneumonia commonly affect both lungs.
In general, since pneumonia is usually caused by bacteria or viruses that are contagious, it is best to keep children away from anyone who already has pneumonia or an upper respiratory tract infection that can lead to pneumonia. If someone in your home has a respiratory infection or throat infection, keep his or her drinking glass and eating utensils separate from those of other family members, and wash your hands frequently, especially if you are handling used tissues or dirty handkerchiefs.
Incubation: - The incubation period for pneumonia varies, depending on the type of virus or bacteria causing the infection. Some common incubation periods are: respiratory syncytial virus, 4-6 days; influenza, 18-72 hours.
Duration: - With treatment, most types of bacterial pneumonia can be cured within 1-2 weeks. Viral pneumonia may last longer. Mycoplasmal pneumonia may take 4-6 weeks to resolve completely.
Contagiousness: - The viruses and bacteria that cause pneumonia are contagious and are usually found in fluid from the mouth or nose of an infected person. Illness can spread by coughs and sneezes, by drinking glasses and eating utensils, and in used tissues or handkerchiefs.
Home Treatment: - If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics for your bacterial pneumonia, give the medicine on schedule for as long as your doctor directs. This will help you recover faster and will decrease the chance that infection will spread to others in the household.
Dietary Measures: - Decrease the sugar in your diet. Your ability to fight infection will definitely improve, if you stop eating sugar and sugar products.
- Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) has been used for many years.
- Echinacea (Echinacea purpura) has been used for many years.
- Garlic (Allium sativum) has been used for many years.
- Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) has been used for many years.
- Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) has been used for many years.
- Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) has been used for many years.
- Osha (Ligusticum porteri) has been used for many years.
- Slippery Elm (Ulmus fulva) has been used for many years.
- Wild Indigo (Baptisia tinctoria) has been used for many years
Before taking any herbs or supplements, ask your caregiver if it is OK. Talk to your caregiver about how much you should take. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the label. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to. The herbs and supplements listed may or may not help treat your condition.
- NAC (N-Acetyl Cystine) has been used
- Vitamin C has been used
- Zinc has been used
Other ways to treat your symptoms are available to you. Talk to your caregiver, if any of the items that are listed below, should apply:
- Seek care immediatly if you would like medicine to treat bacterial pneumonia.
- Seek care immediatly if your symptoms have not gone away or improved by these self-help measures.
- Seek care immediatly if you are coughing up bloody sputum.
- Seek care immediatly if you have trouble breathing
- Seek care immediatly if you have a severe headache, stiff neck, or feel confused.
Consider That Prevention Is The Best Cure.
Pneumonia Information:Dr. Mercola 7/30/2000 - Infections Peak on Shortest Days Of Year
Pneumonia Information: Dr. Mercola 2/21/2001 - Vaccine
Pneumonia Information: Dr. Mercola 11/10/2004 - Risks
Pneumonia Information: Stomach Acid Suppressive Medications, Cause Pneumonia 10/26/2004
Pneumonia Information: Natural News 8/20/2010 - Zinc Helps Prevent Pneumonia In The Elderly
Pneumonia Information: Natural News 2/5/2014 - How To Cure Pneumonia Naturally With Vitamin C