Pneumonia By: Asia Williamson


Your body's immune system usually keeps bacteria from infecting your lungs. In pneumonia, bacteria reproduce in your lungs, while your body tries to fight off the infection. This response to bacterial invaders is called inflammation.The most common cause of bacterial pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae.Haemophilus influenzae, Chlamydia trachomatis, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Legionella pneumophila are some other major bacteria that cause pneumonia.


  • Cough, often producing mucus, also called sputum, from the lungs. Mucus may be rusty or green or tinged with blood
  • Fever, which may be less common in older adults
  • Shaking, "teeth-chattering" chills, one time only or many times
  • Fast, often shallow, breathing and the feeling of being short of breath
  • Chest wall pain that is often made worse by coughing or breathing in
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Feeling very tired or weak
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Where found

The germs that cause pneumonia are usually found in the mouth and nose of the infected person. They can be spread easily to another person, either through the air or by touching a contaminated surface. Typically, they enter the person's body through their mouth, nose, or eyes. When this happens, a battle begins the person's immune system tries to kill the germs, while the germs try to multiply.


Pneumococcus is spread through contact with people who are ill or who carry the bacteria in their throat. You can get pneumococcal pneumonia from respiratory droplets from the nose or mouth of an infected person. It is common for people, especially children, to carry the bacteria in their throats without being sick.


Pneumococcal vaccination is a method of preventing a specific type of lung infection (pneumonia) that is caused by pneumococcus bacterium. There are more than 80 different types of pneumococcus bacteria -- 23 of them covered by the vaccine. The vaccine is injected into the body to stimulate the normal immune system to produce antibodies that are directed against pneumococcus bacteria.


Antibiotics can cure bacterial pneumonia and make recovery from mycoplasma pneumonia much quicker.

Antiviral drugs can be used to treat certain types of viral pneumonia, but there is not yet any treatment that works against all causes.

Supportive treatment often helps. This can include medicines that ease chest pain and relieve violent coughing. Sometimes, oxygen is needed. In all cases, a proper diet speeds recovery.

Degree of Damage

Many people are worried that lung damage after pneumonia will persist and they will never have their lungs working at their fullest again. In fact, lung scarring after pneumonia will be considerably reduced just as the disease will be cured. In time it will disappear completely and the functioning of the lungs will take place at normal parameters. Lung scarring after pneumonia might not disappear completely in a short amount of time, but it will go away slowly and surely.

Interesting Facts

1. Pneumonia kills more children under the age of five than any other disease, claiming a young life every 20 seconds. That’s 4,300 young lives lost every day!

2. For every child that dies from pneumonia in the industrialized world, 2,000 more die in developing countries.

3. In these countries, children under 5 and under 2 years of age are at risk, especially in the poorest communities.

4. In fact, an estimated 98 percent of children who die of pneumonia live in developing countries.

5. Each year, there are more than 150 million episodes of pneumonia in young children in developing countries, and more than 11 million children need hospitalization for pneumonia.