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Viral Pneumonia Prevention and Treatment
- Viral pneumonia is usually not a serious threat to your health
- Rest and plenty of fluids are the standard treatments for viral pneumonia
- Any respiratory can be considered serious to certain areas of the population, including the young, the elderly, and anyone whose immune system health is weak
Viral pneumonia is a respiratory infection that can strike all ages. When this illness occurs, the lungs become inflamed and may fill up with mucous or fluid. This condition can strike only certain parts of your lungs or it can have an effect on all the areas of your lungs. Pneumonia can occur because of a bacteria, virus, or fungus that gets into the lungs and causes an infection. With viral pneumonia the cause is a virus. Most people can fight this medical illness with no hospitalization or medications, simply by resting and drinking plenty of fluids. For some people, viral pneumonia can become very serious, and even life threatening at times. Usually this is because of an immature or weakened immune system. This can include infants and small children, the elderly, anyone who has recently had surgery, and anyone who has a weakened immune system due to disease or drugs, such as those with HIV or anyone who has had transplant surgery and takes immunosuppressive drugs. For these populations this condition may require hospitalization, intravenous fluids, and medications to help your body fight the virus more effectively.
The symptoms of pneumonia include a fever that is normally low grade, but that can be high if the virus is well spread and abundant in your body, or if your immune system is young or weakened. Another symptom is coughing, which may start out light but get heavier as the illness progresses. Small amounts of mucous will be coughed up, and this mucous can be a yellow or greenish color and be very thick. You will feel tired all the time, and may even feel too weak to get out of bed. You can also experience muscle aches. Some people will have chills as well, and other generalized signs of infection. When a virus causes the pneumonia at first the symptoms do not seem severe, so you may not seek medical help for a week or two. In severe cases, this illness can cause severe complications which can lead to death if not promptly treated.
Preventing viral pneumonia and any other respiratory infection means washing your hands frequently. Stay away from anyone who shows a sign of an infection, especially one affecting their respiratory system. This includes symptoms like sneezing, coughing, a stuffy nose, and wheezing. Visit your doctor if you have a cold or other viral infection that gets worse, or causes any serious symptoms besides the usual discomfort and inconvenience. Get the yearly flu shot and the pneumonococcal vaccine to help keep your risks of viral pneumonia oranother respiratory infection. Do not smoke, and if you do then quit. Eat a healthy diet and get plenty of regular exercise. These steps will help you prevent this infection and keep you healthy. Seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or the closest Emergency Room if you start having severe pain in your chest, if you are short of breath or can not seem to catch your breath even though you are resting and not exerting yourself. If you feel very weak, start coughing up fresh or old blood, or have problems with severe nausea and vomiting, you should also get medical attention right away.
If you have been told you have viral pneumonia or another respiratory infection, rest and drinking a lot of fluids are an important part of the treatment. Fluids are needed so you can stay hydrated and the rest will allow your body to fight off the virus more effectively. Non-prescription medications for cold and flu symptoms can help manage the symptoms, and allow your body to fight off the virus and recover much faster.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Respiratory Problems11 Feb 2009|