Department of


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During the process of breathing the blood exchanges oxygen and carbon di- oxide in the lungs. Tiny air sacs known as Alveoli are responsible for the oxygen to get into the bloodstream and eventually to the tissues throughout the body. These air sacs in either of the lungs or in both the lungs can get enlarged and filled with pus or fluid restricting the proper exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. This phenomenon is diagnosed as Pneumonia.

This can occur either due to bacterial infection, fungi or viruses. Pneumonia can occur in various places such as Hospitals, as the bacteria may be resilient to medical drugs which could be lethal.

It could also occur from outside the hospitals, i.e from the general environment.

Pneumonia is also observed in patients who were under a ventilator for a long duration of time for anonymous reasons.

Patients are also diagnosed with pneumonia by the inhalation of microorganisms from edible items, drinks and saliva when gone into the lungs of one. This is known as Aspiration Pneumonia.


There are various symptoms of the Pneumonia which are as follows:

  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Fever.
  • Chills.
  • Severe cough with pus or phlegm.
  • Discomfort in the chest while breathing or coughing.
  • Fatigue.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea/ Vomiting.
  • Headache.

But this does not mean that everyone who is affected with pneumonia is aware of it. Yes, Walking pneumonia is a phenomenon where the symptoms are quite mild for the patient to be hospitalized. The symptoms are similar but in a milder form. Doctors generally call it ‘Atypical Pneumonia’.


It is found that pneumonia caused due to bacteria and viruses are absolutely contagious. This can spread from one person to other in the form of tiny particles in the air by the result of coughing and sneezing and also by coming in contact with surfaces and objects that the patient has sneezed or coughed upon. One can get infected with fungal pneumonia from the environment but it is not known to be contagious.


No, the alveoli or air sacs are enlarged by the body itself as a response by the immune system for the infection caused in the lungs. These alveoli gets filled with mucus, pus and other fluids when they get enlarged which eventually causes difficulty in breathing.


Once the diagnosis is done through various blood tests to know the infection causing microorganism and also with the help of an X-Ray to identify the presence and the intensity of the infection, treatment is taken accordingly in respective ways such as follows.

  • Antibiotics are prescribed if pneumonia is caused due to any bacterial infection.
  • Paracetamol and similar medications are prescribed to eradicate pyrexia & hyperpyrexia (high temperature) in patients.
  • Syrups and medicines would also be prescribed to reduce the severity of cough, phlegm and pus if any.
  • In cases where the patient feels discomfort in the chest, heart beat either too high (Tachycardia) or too low (Bradycardia), any signs of kidney damage or substantial variations in blood pressure and even the patient is above 50-60 years of age may require hospitalization.
  • Immediate hospitalization is also required in cases where the patient is an infant of 2 months of age or less. They might show symptoms like high temperature, lethargy, dehydration and difficulty in breathing.


Pneumonia can be prevented by the following:

  •  Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  •  Quit smoking for better lung immunity.
  •  Healthy diet.
  •  Maintaining hygiene.
  • Taking a shot for influenza every year.
  • There are various vaccines too which prevent pneumonia such as pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV 13) which fall under the category of Pneumococcal Vaccine.
  • Vaccine for Haemophilus influenzae.
  • Additional relevant vaccines that the doctor would prescribe.

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