World Pneumonia Day: Know the link between Covid-19 and pneumonia

Pneumonia is a lung infection that makes it difficult to breathe because the air cells in one or both lungs are inflamed and can fill with pus and fluid. Moreover, it is one of the most widespread and serious consequences of Covid-19. Covid-19 is a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. Let’s understand the link between Covid-19 and pneumonia!

But first, let us know about pneumonia on World Pneumonia Day.

Health Shots spoke to Dr. Pritha Nayyar, Consultant in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Faridabad Asian Hospital, to learn more about the condition.

Pneumonia symptoms

Symptoms of pneumonia can range from mild to severe, depending on the cause of the condition and your general health. They may include high fever up to 105 F with chills, greenish, yellow, or bloody mucus when coughing, loss of appetite, fatigue, profuse sweating, rapid breathing, bluish lips and fingernails , sharp pain in the chest especially when coughing or taking a deep breath and confusion (in older people).

What causes pneumonia?

1. Bacteria

Streptococcal pneumonia usually causes bacterial pneumonia. This type of pneumonia can occur on its own or after a cold or flu.

Covid-19 and pneumonia
Talk to your doctor about how you can take care of your lungs with Covid. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Colds and flu

The virus that causes colds and flu can cause pneumonia. Viruses are commonly responsible for pneumonia in children under 5 years old. Although viral pneumonia is usually mild, it can become serious in some cases. Covid-19 can cause pneumonia which can become serious.

3. Low immunity

Pneumonia caused by fungi is common in people with chronic health conditions or weakened immune systems and in those who have inhaled high doses of the organisms. Fungi causing pneumonia can be found in bird droppings or in soil depending on geographic location.

Read also : The Cough is Hard: Dos and Don’ts of Treating Pneumonia at Home

4. Mycoplasma pneumoniae

Mycoplasma pneumoniae are bacteria-like organisms that also cause pneumonia. However, it has milder symptoms than other types of pneumonia.

Is pneumonia fatal with Covid-19?

Most people affected by Covid-19 have mild to moderate symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. But some of those affected by Covid-19 can get severe pneumonia in both lungs, which can be life-threatening as it causes the tiny air sacs inside the lungs to become inflamed. So yes, pneumonia caused by Covid-19 is a serious disease and can be fatal.

Covid-19 and pneumonia
If you’re battling pneumonia, keep these tips in mind. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

What increases your risk of getting pneumonia with Covid-19?

If you are seriously ill with the coronavirus, have poor lung function, and are receiving oxygen support, you could develop covid-induced pneumonia. Your lungs can be damaged by the coronavirus, leading to pulmonary clotting and thickening of the walls of the air sacs. These symptoms can lead to pneumonia and breathing problems. As a result, it can affect adults over 65 with asthma or an underlying lung condition as well as other co-occurring conditions including diabetes or heart disease. Anyone who smokes or has a weakened immune system can develop Covid-19 pneumonia.

How to treat pneumonia?

Treatment for pneumonia depends on the type and severity of your pneumonia, your age, and your general health. Options include:

1. Antibiotics: Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial pneumonia. Depending on the type of bacteria causing your pneumonia, your doctor will prescribe the best antibiotic treatment. If your symptoms do not improve over time, a different antibiotic may be recommended.

Read also : Here Are 5 Yoga Asanas That Can Soothe Pneumonia Discomfort

2. Cough treatment: Cough medicine may be given to soothe your cough and allow you to rest.

3. Analgesics: Analgesics/fever reducers/ may be recommended as needed to relieve pain and reduce fever. These include medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen, among others.

If you have pneumonia, avoid doing the following:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Avoid using products that contain tobacco or nicotine, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and chewing tobacco. Consult your healthcare provider if you need help quitting.
Covid-19 and pneumonia
Protect your lungs from the side effects of smoking. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

If you have pneumonia, eat these foods:

Eat a diet high in lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

General guidelines for the treatment of pneumonia:

  • Get enough rest and sleep at least eight hours a night.
  • During the night, lie partially upright. Sleep on a recliner or place a few pillows under your head.
  • As directed by your healthcare professional, return to your usual activities. Ask your healthcare professional which activities are safe for you.
  • Drink enough fluid to keep your urine pale yellow. The mucus in your lungs thins out as a result.
  • Gargle with a salt water solution three to four times a day, or as needed if you have a sore throat. Completely dissolve 1-2 teaspoons of salt in 1 cup of warm water to make a salt water mixture.

Apart from this advice, follow all follow-up visits as instructed by your healthcare professional!

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