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Types of Pneumonia

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Types of Pneumonia - Causes and Symptoms

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Pneumonia is a kind of serious infection of the lungs that is caused by various types of bacteria, viruses and even fungi. It can be mild and sometimes even fatal. It affects people having weakened immune systems, amongst older people that are above 65 years of age, infants and younger children. Pneumonia can either be bacterial, viral or even mycoplasma. It is a serious health issue that requires proper treatment. Pneumonia is a common disease that can have more than 30 types of causes and symptoms. It is a contagious lung infection that is characterized by the inflammation of air sacs in either one or both lungs. The air sacs tend to get filled with fluid or pus which results in fever, cough, chills and breathing difficulty. In this article, we will study types of pneumonia, the causative agent of pneumonia, pneumonia symptoms treatment and prevention, and take a look at the pneumonia short note.


How is Pneumonia Caused

Let us now learn about the causes and symptoms.

Bacteria, viruses, or even fungi can lead to pneumonia. The common causes include the following:

  1. Cold viruses

  2. Flu viruses

  3. RSV virus which is the top cause of pneumonia in babies that are of age 1 or even younger

  4. Bacteria are known as Streptococcus pneumonia and the other Mycoplasma pneumonia


Types of Pneumonia

Let us learn about the pneumonia types and causes.


  1. Bacterial Pneumonia

The most common bacteria which leads to pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae. It occurs amongst people having an existing lung disorder, and those who drink excessively due to which they develop a weakened immune system. It also affects older people whose immunity keeps weakening with increasing age.


  1. Viral Pneumonia

It is caused due to various viruses like the influenza virus. More than 1/3 rd of the total pneumonia cases are caused due to viruses.


  1. Mycoplasma Pneumonia

This is called atypical pneumonia and shows different kinds of symptoms. It is caused due to Mycoplasma pneumonia which causes mild pneumonia which affects all age groups.


  1. Other Pneumonia

These are quite less common and can be caused by several other infectious agents like fungi.


Pneumonia Symptoms Causes and Prevention

Let us look at the pneumonia causes and symptoms.

The initial symptoms of pneumonia usually resemble the ones of a cold or flu. The person then starts to develop a high fever, chills, and cough along with sputum.


The Common Symptoms Include the Following

  1. cough

  2. fever

  3. headache

  4. rusty or green coloured phlegm, or sputum, which is coughed up from lungs

  5. faster breathing and shortness of breath

  6. shaking chills

  7. fatigue and weakness

  8. chest pain which usually worsens during taking a deep breath called pleuritic pain

  9. fast heartbeat

  10. diarrhoea

  11. nausea and vomiting

  12. sweating

  13. muscle pain

  14. confusion or delirium found especially in older adults

  15. dusky or purplish coloured skin, or cyanosis, due to poorly oxygenated blood

The symptoms tend to vary depending on the several other underlying conditions and the kind of pneumonia.


Pneumonia Diagnosis

If your doctor thinks that you might have pneumonia, they would probably give you the following tests:

  1. Blood tests to look for any signs of bacterial infection

  2. A chest X-ray for finding the infection in the lungs and how far it has spread

  3. Pulse oximetry for measuring the levels of oxygen in your blood

  4. A sputum test for checking the fluid in your lungs for finding the cause of an infection


In case your symptoms started in the hospital or if you have any other health problems, your doctor might also give you more tests, like:

  1. An arterial blood gas test for measuring the oxygen in a small amount of the blood which is taken from one of your arteries

  2. Bronchoscopy for checking your airways for any blockages or any other problems

  3. A CT scan to get a clear and detailed image of your lungs

  4. A pleural fluid culture, wherein the doctor removes a small portion of the fluid from the tissues that are around your lungs for looking for bacteria that might cause pneumonia


Pneumonia Treatment

The treatment varies according to the type and severity of pneumonia.

  1. Bacterial types of pneumonia are generally treated with antibiotics.

  2. Viral types of pneumonia are generally treated with rest and having plenty of fluids. Antiviral medications are used in influenza.

  3. Fungal type of pneumonia is generally treated with antifungal medications.

  4. Doctors generally prescribe over-the-counter or OTC medications for helping to manage the symptoms of pneumonia. These include several treatments to reduce fever, reduce aches and pains, and suppress coughs.

Hospitalization for pneumonia might be required if the symptoms are especially bad or if the individual has a weakened immune system or any other kinds of serious illnesses.


Pneumonia is an infection that can be caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi. This infection inflames the air sacs of one or both lungs and fills it with fluids and pus, which can cause coughing, fever, chills, and dyspnea with sputum and pus. The intensity of Pneumonia can vary from person to person. Pneumonia can be mild to some and life-threatening to others, it is most serious for infants, people over the age of 65, health problems and people with weakened immunity. 


Types of Pneumonia  

  1. Bacterial Pneumonia 

This type of pneumonia occurs in the lungs and is caused by bacteria. The most common kind is caused due to streptococcus bacteria. It is common not only in people over the age of 65 but also in people with asthma and heart disease. Similar to viral pneumonia,  symptoms such as high fever, green or yellow sputum, and chills appear. Antibiotics are the most common method of treating bacterial pneumonia.


  1. Viral Pneumonia 

Viruses are the second most common factor causing Pneumonia. It is triggered by bacteria. Viral pneumonia can spread through body fluids after someone coughs or sneezes within close proximity. Symptoms of this pneumonia include a dry cough, fever, chills in the body, shortness of breath, and pain in the chest while breathing. The most common treatment for this type of pneumonia is antiviral, as well as symptomatic treatment. Doctors usually advise the patients to take rest as much as possible.  


  1. Fungal Pneumonia 

Fungus is a very low likely cause of pneumonia. If you are healthy, you are unlikely to have fungal pneumonia. However, if your immune system is weak, you are more likely to get it, especially if you had an organ transplant, Chemotherapy for cancer, If you are taking drugs for treating autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, HIV. You can even catch Pneumonia by Inhaling small particles called fungal spores that lead to fungal pneumonia. People of a particular profession are more likely to come into contact with them. For example, farmers dealing with bird, bat, or rodent dung, Landscape architects and gardeners who handle soil, construction workers, On-site military person etc. 


  1. Walking Pneumonia

Walking Pneumonia is a less severe type of bacterial infection also known as mycoplasma pneumonia. Sometimes it is even called Atypical Pneumonia. This type of pneumonia is mild and is usually called walking pneumonia because it allows you to carry out your daily activities and you don’t even realize that you are sick. It feels like a bad cold whose symptoms include fever, chills, and cough. 

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FAQs on Types of Pneumonia

1. Pneumonia is an Example of Which Disease?

Pneumonia is caused due to infections by bacteria or viruses and is less commonly caused by fungi and parasites. Streptococcus pneumoniae is amongst the most common causes of bacterial pneumonia. Adenoviruses, influenza virus (flu), rhinovirus, parainfluenza virus, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), are all amongst the potential causes of viral pneumonia. Histoplasmosis, blastomycosis, aspergillosis, coccidioidomycosis, and cryptococcosis are fungal infections that can lead to fungal pneumonia. 

2. Is Pneumonia a Communicable Disease?

Pneumonia is a communicable or contagious disease only when the causative pathogens that are usually bacteria or viruses are expelled by the infected person when they are coughing out the infected droplets. These expelled droplets consist of the bacteria or virus which causes pneumonia. These tend to droplets contaminate the mouth or even the breathing tract of another individual and eventually infect their lungs.


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