Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs. Pneumonia is usually caused by viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. Pneumonia is more common in older people, those with long-term illnesses, or those with weakened or low immune systems.

**Method of Pneumonia Infection

Pneumonia infections mainly occur in the upper respiratory tract. The immune system of the infected upper respiratory tract is reduced. Gradually, the infection spreads from the upper to the lower part of the respiratory tract. The degree of infection of pneumonia depends on the virulence of the organism or the immunity of the patient. Droplets of infected fluid are released into the air from the nose and mouth of an infected person when they cough or sneeze. If someone else breathes in contaminated air, the infection can spread to their body. For this reason, people suffering from pneumonia are asked to cover their nose and mouth. Pneumonia usually lasts 2 to 3 weeks after full infection.

**Causes pneumonia

Pneumonia can be caused especially by airborne bacteria and viruses. The body's natural immune system protects us from these germs. But if for some reason our immune system is weak, then the disease gets infected. The main causative agent of pneumonia is –

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria cause about 50 percent of pneumonias. - This bacterial infection can be direct. Again, after the common cold and flu, this type of bacteria can take up residence in the body.
  • Other pneumonia-causing bacteria – Haemophiles influenzae, Chlamydophilia pneumoniae, Lazioella nymphaea, and Moraxella catarrhalis. Heavy drinkers are more likely to contract pneumonia bacteria.
  • Bacteria-like organisms such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae can also cause lung infections.
  • Viruses usually cause about one-third of pneumonia infections. Most pneumonia-causing viruses are rhinovirus, coronavirus, influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, etc. Organ transplants and weakened immunity can lead to viral pneumonia.
  • The rate of fungal pneumonia is extremely low. The names of such fungi are - Histoplasm capsulatum, Blastomyces, Cryptococcus neoformans, etc. Pneumonia infection is caused by fungi due to weak immunity.
  • Pneumonia can also be caused by various parasites like - Taxoplasma gondii, Strongyloides stercoralis, Ascaris lambricides, etc.


**Symptoms of pneumonia

The symptoms that may appear in the body gradually after pneumonia infection-

  • Cough accompanied by yellow or green mucus (phlegm).
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Feeling of chest pain while breathing or coughing.
  • Rumbling in the chest while breathing.
  • Fever with high body temperature (other than 103 F or 39.4 C).
  • Experiencing chest pain.
  • Pain felt all over the body.
  • Fatigue.
  • Aversion to food.
  • Coughing for more than 3 consecutive weeks.
  • Bleeding with cough.
  • Pale blue veins appear.

The doctor should be contacted if multiple symptoms appear.


**Common illnesses that can lead to pneumonia are-

  • Common cold
  • Covid-19
  • Influenza
  • Human parainfluenza
  • Pneumococcal disease

Bacterial pneumonia infection can also spread from hospitals and healthcare facilities. In many cases, patients come for treatment of other diseases and get pneumonia.


** Ways to prevent pneumonia

Effective ways to prevent pneumonia are –

  • Stop smoking.
  • Giving flu vaccine to adults and children.
  • Can administer or receive vaccines.
  • Cover the nose and mouth with a mask in case of pneumonia.
  • Avoid smoke and dust.
  • Nutritious eating habits.

**Remedies for Children

Pneumonia can be serious for babies under 2 months of age. In such cases, if the symptoms of pneumonia appear, the patient needs to be admitted to the hospital immediately. Besides, other duties are-

  • Timely immunization of children against pneumococcal, measles, and whooping cough (pertussis).
  • Breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. It increases the immunity of children.
  • Give soupy drinks if pneumonia is diagnosed. It maintains the water supply in the body.
  • Ask doctors about cough medicine.
  • Feed the child food and medicine at the right time.
  • Apply hot compress.
  • Taking hot saltwater vapors.


**Food list for pneumonia patients

A balanced diet is very important to fight pneumonia. The body needs more energy. So, what should be eaten is given below –

  • Easily digestible carbohydrates, proteins, and fats
  • Warm milk
  • Coconut water, fresh juice, and buttermilk or whey.
  • Foods like paneer, dal, lemon.
  • Green vegetables.
  • Hot soup.
  • Probiotic foods like sour yogurt.

**Which foods should be avoided?

  • Cold drinks
  • Cold food
  • Excess salt in food
  • Foods high in saturated fat and trans-fat.

Taking special precautions can prevent serious pneumonia. Children and the elderly need extra care. Pneumonia is more likely in the dry weather of winter. So, it is very important to keep the airway moist during this time. It can prevent respiratory tract infections. Know about this disease and inform people. Consult a doctor if necessary.


Contacts for emergency assistance:

The National Health Service: 16263

Child Support Helpline: 1098

Mother and Child Health Services: 09666888888

Health information or medical advice: 333-1

National Emergency Services: 999

UNHCR Hotline (support related to Rohingya people in Camps): 16670


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