Pneumonia is a lung disease commonly caused by bacteria. It’s an infection that inflames your lungs’ air sacs. This can happen to anyone, so as long as you’re human, you’re susceptible to acquiring it. However, children under two years of age and adults over 65 are at a higher risk of developing it. Also, those with a compromised immune system are very susceptible to acquiring it.
Pneumonia causes the air sac to fill up with fluid or pus, causing symptoms like cough, fever, chills and shortness of breath. When not treated properly, it may result in death. Common symptoms for children include vomiting, high fever, fast breathing, weakness and cough. Adult symptoms include shortness of breath, productive cough, fever, malaise, chills, chest pain and muscle ache.
For other symptoms associated with pneumonia, watch the video below.
Pneumonia spreads through coughs, sneezes and touch, or by breathing bacteria or germ-filled air. You can also get it from inhaling foreign matter into the lungs. It commonly occurs after a cold or flu season. When cold and flu season strikes, pneumonia isn’t far behind. The same viruses that make you sneeze during the flu can also infect your lungs.
According to Aaron Glatt, MD, chief of infectious diseases at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, New York, and a spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America,
“It’s a constellation of symptoms that the doctor looks at, not one particular finding.”
So, when making a diagnosis, your doctor will consider your physical exam, diagnostic test results and medical history.