Pneumonia , as it is known among the people, is pneumonia ; In short, it is inflammation of the lung tissue. It occurs due to various microorganisms, especially bacteria. In some types of pneumonia , there is a risk of direct transmission from sick person to healthy person. But the disease mostly occurs when germs from the patient’s own mouth, throat or digestive tract reach the lungs. These microbes, which do not normally cause disease, cause pneumonia in people with weakened body defenses . Therefore, risk factors that break the body resistance of the person play a role in the formation of pneumonia rather than infection.
What are the symptoms of pneumonia?
There may be chills, chills, high fever up to 39-40 °C, cough, dirty, inflamed (green, yellow, rust color) sputum and flank pain. Some types of pneumonia have an insidious onset. There may be symptoms such as dry cough, fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, followed by loss of appetite, weakness, joint and muscle pains that last for a few days. Patients with this complaint should definitely consult a doctor. Pneumonia is a health problem that should not be neglected. It is known that early diagnosis and initiation of treatment without delay reduce deaths. If the patient’s complaints are compatible with pneumonia, the diagnosis can be made with the findings in the examination and chest x-ray. If necessary, blood and sputum analyzes can be done.
Is pneumonia (pneumonia) contagious?
Influenza and similar viral respiratory tract infections that predispose to pneumonia are very contagious. They can be spread by sneezing and coughing, and can be transmitted to other people through items such as glasses, handkerchiefs, cutlery, etc., which are contaminated with mouth and nose secretions. Pneumonias are among the most common diseases that cause the most deaths all over the world and in our country. Pneumonia can be more deadly, especially in infants, children, the elderly, and people with another known disease. There are several risk factors that make it easier for a person to get pneumonia. Pneumonia can be prevented if it is possible to avoid them.
Risk factors that facilitate the occurrence of pneumonia in adults
- advanced age
Chronic diseases: Lung diseases (COPD, bronchiectasis, lung cancer), heart diseases, kidney diseases, liver diseases, diabetes, nervous system diseases (muscle diseases, strokes, dementia), conditions that cause swallowing difficulties (jaw, muscle, nerve diseases, tumors, esophageal diseases), immune system diseases (AIDS, blood and lymph node cancers)
- Alcohol intake
- Past long-term surgeries
- flu epidemics
What are the ways to prevent pneumonia?
In order to prevent pneumonia, the negative factors that facilitate the formation of pneumonia should be corrected. For this purpose, appropriate follow-up and treatment of chronic diseases, avoidance of stress, providing a balanced diet and hygienic accommodation conditions, control of alcohol, tobacco and drug addiction, and leakage of mouth and stomach contents into respiratory tract = risk factors leading to aspiration should be reduced.
During flu epidemics, which can cause or facilitate pneumonia, it is important to reduce contact in the crowd, use masks, and vaccinate people who can transmit flu, especially to high-risk groups.
Influenza virus itself can cause pneumonia, as well as facilitate the emergence of other types of pneumonia due to microorganisms. Cases in which the flu is severe and fatal are mostly cases where pneumonia accompanies the flu. For this reason, influenza epidemics should be prevented in order to prevent pneumonia and related deaths.
Vaccines have been developed to protect against the flu. These vaccines provide protection for one year. Influenza vaccines should be given one dose intramuscularly in September, October or at the latest in November each year. Influenza vaccines should be administered to people who are at high risk of catching the flu, or when the flu can be severe and fatal.
Among the causes of pneumonia, the most common microorganism in the world is Streptococcus pneumoniae. There is a vaccine prepared against this bacterium, which we call pneumococcus. Pneumococci can cause infections other than pneumonia, especially in the upper respiratory tract. Although this vaccine is not completely, it may provide partial protection when administered to high-risk individuals. The vaccine is administered intramuscularly. It is repeated after 5 years.
Pneumonia (Pneumonia) treatment
In many cases , pneumonia can be treated at home. Severe cases, elderly patients, patients requiring oxygen therapy or intensive care support require hospitalization. Treatment varies by patient. The results are satisfactory when the treatment is started early and in the cases that can be treated as an outpatient. However, the mortality rate is high in severe pneumonia cases with delayed diagnosis and treatment.
People Recommended Pneumococcal Vaccine:
- Those with normal immune system and chronic diseases such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, alcoholism, cirrhosis, cerebrospinal fluid leakage
- People with an inadequate immune system and an increased risk of pneumococcal disease, those with spleen removal, those with certain blood diseases, chronic kidney disease, and those who have had an organ transplant
- AIDS carrier adults
- 65 years and older
- Influenza and pneumococcal vaccines are not given during the course of a high fever illness.
- The flu vaccine should not be administered to those with egg allergies. Both vaccines are quite safe. Pain and redness may develop at the injection site. There may be some side effects such as fever, weakness, malaise, these are temporary and mild.