What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by bacterial or viral infection in which the air sacs fill with pus and may become solid. (Pretty uncomfortable, right?)
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The History of Pneumonia

Pneumonia has been around since 460 B.C. It was discovered by a Greek physician named Hippocrates. He described some of the symptoms as: coughs, sweats, and fevers, similar to the symptoms today.

Throughout the years, advancements in technology and medicine gave us the ability to analyze pneumonia and its causes. Doctors have since then discovered that pneumonia is caused by bacteria and needs to be treated with medicine. Not until the 1900's did doctors develop antibiotics to treat pneumonia and decrease the death rates due to it.

You may be wondering how doctors treated pneumonia before antibiotics. Frankly, there wasn't much doctors could do to treat it. Zinc and vitamin C was sometimes used to help, but most of the victims died from the infection.


Symptoms vary from mild to severe.

  • high fever
  • shaking chills
  • cough with phlegm
  • shortness of breath with normal daily activities
  • chest pains when you breathe or cough
  • feel suddenly worse after a cold or the flu

If you have any of these symptoms you should see your doctor promptly.

Can I catch Pneumonia?

Unfortunately, yes. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children worldwide, it kills 1.1 million children every year. People with weak immune systems are likely to get this infection. The majority of people who get infected are 65 years or older or 2 years or younger. Inhaling the virus or bacteria can infect the lungs. This infection spreads person-to-person.

Pneumonia Treatments and Cures

There is a cure for this infection. Doctors normally start treatment off with antibiotics (amount given depends on age and condition) and a sensitive test (this identifies the organism causing your symptoms). There are also vaccines you can get to help prevent the infection such as Pneumococcal, Influenza, and Measles.

If you want to prevent getting pneumonia stop smoking, stay away from people with colds, the flu, or any respiratory infections, get your vaccines, stay away from people who have had diseases like chicken pox or measles, and be sure to wash your hands often.

Most people don’t need surgery for pneumonia but if you do you will either get a Thoracotomy or a chest tube procedure. This procedure allows the surgeon to remove dead or damaged lung tissue and observe the lungs.