Flu season leads to “Pneumonia Season”… And with flu numbers on the rise, it’s not shocking that last week, Centra Care doctors saw a 63% increase in adults with pneumonia.
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs, which can be caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites.
Pneumonia often develops behind an upper respiratory infection, with symptoms appearing after a few days of a cold.
Pneumonia is easily diagnosed with a chest x-ray. While it is a relatively common infection of the lungs, it can be dangerous. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death from infection. The most common cases of pneumonia (known as “walking pneumonia”) can usually be treated with antibiotics at home, but depending on the severity, hospitalization may be required.
Symptoms of pneumonia include:
∙ Shortness of Breath
∙ Shallow & Fast Breathing
∙ Sweating & Chills
∙ Muscle Aches
∙ Loss of Appetite
∙ Coughing (which may include mucus)
The symptoms of pneumonia often mimic other illnesses like asthma and bronchitis, so people often wait before seeking medical care. This is a mistake as developed pneumonia can cause severe complications. For those at high-risk: people with chronic illnesses, smokers, infants and the elderly — pneumonia can be life threatening.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a pneumonia vaccine for all people age 65 and older and anyone age 2 – 64 years that is considered high-risk for complications from pneumonia.