Most infectious pneumonias are contagious, since they can be spread from one person to another. Generally healthy people do not fall ill to pneumonia. Many viruses and bacteria can cause infectious pneumonia. When certain germs cause pneumonia, it can be very contagious. An example of this is when it is caused by the bacteria streptococcus pneumonia. This is often seen as an outbreak in young healthy military recruits living in the same barracks.
Pneumonia caused by a fungus or an opportunistic infection, which effects people with AIDS, it is not contagious. Some people are more likely to fall ill to pneumonia such as those with diabetes, alcoholism, any chronic lung problem, a chronic sinus problem, a weakened immune system, aspiration, and the elderly.
There can also be non-infectious causes of pneumonia. Some examples are hypersensitivity pneumonitis, chemical inhalation, and smoke inhalation. These are not contagious.
Pneumonia is inflammation of the lung. This is most commonly due to an infection. Inhaling bacteria or viruses is usually the way pneumonia is spread. Generally bacterial pneumonia will come on very suddenly while viral pneumonia will develop more slowly. Symptoms may include cough, chest pain, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, fever, chills, sweats, headache, weakness, tiredness, and a general feeling of discomfort and body aches. It is generally best diagnosed by chest x-ray in addition to a thorough examination. Treatment is based on the severity of the symptoms and the type of germ causing the infection. Antibiotics will help a bacterial infection, but will not help a viral or fungal infection. Over time the body's natural defenses will clear a viral infection. An antifungal is needed for the uncommon fungal infection. Please read our Pneumonia MedFact at http://www.nationaljewish.org/medfacts/pneumonia.html for more information.
Preventative measures include frequent hand washing or the use of alcohol-based hand rubs. Also covering your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue before sneezing or coughing will help to decrease the spread. Other preventive measures include good medical control of health problems that make a person more likely to fall ill to pneumonia such as diabetes, alcoholism, any chronic lung problem, a chronic sinus problem, a weakened immune system, as well as aspiration. This is the entry of foreign materials, including food and gastric contents, into the windpipe of the lungs. Also avoid smoking. If you smoke, ask your doctor about ways to help you become smoke free.
Copyright 1994-2017MedHelp International.All rights reserved. MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.