Viral pneumonia: what is it, symptoms and treatment
Viral pneumonia is a type of infection in the lungs that causes inflammation of the respiratory system, this causes the emergence of certain symptoms, such as fever, lack of air and symptoms, which worsen with time. This type of pneumonia occurs more frequently in people who have a weakened immune system, such as children and elderly people, mainly.
The main viruses that cause this type of pneumonia are those that cause colds and flu, such as Influenza of type A, B or C, H1N1, H5N1 and COVID-19, in addition to others such as parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus and adenovirus, for example, those can be transported from an infected person to another by means of drops of saliva or respiratory secretions that are suspended in the air.
Although viruses related to viral pneumonia are easily transmitted from one person to another, the person does not always develop pneumonia, and symptoms of cold or flu can usually appear, but the immune system is able to fight these viruses. However, even though there is a risk of developing pneumonia in the high seas, it is important to adopt precautionary measures, such as avoiding coming into close contact with the sick person and maintaining good hygiene habits, washing hands regularly.
The symptoms of viral pneumonia can appear a few days after contact with the virus, presenting aggravation with the step of the days; understanding the main signs and symptoms:
- Tos dryla which advance for those with transparent, white or rosy fleme;
- Pain in the chest and difficulty breathing;
- fever up to 39°C;
- Sore throat or sore throat;
- rhinitis or conjunctivitisconditions that can accompany the symptoms.
In older people, the symptoms of pneumonia can also include confusion, extreme tiredness and lack of appetite, even if there is a fever. On the other hand, in babies or toddlers, it is also very common that there is acceleration of breathing that causes the exaggerated opening of the wings of the nose.
Viral pneumonia differs from bacterial pneumonia, generally, by having a sudden onset, producing a more transparent or white phlegm, in addition to having other signs of viral infection, such as nasal congestion, sinusitis, irritation in the eyes and estornudos, for example; However, it can be difficult to differentiate between the 2 types of infection without performing exams. In spite of that, it is important that the doctor performs investigations to identify the causal agent of the pneumonia and, in this way, the treatment of the pneumonia is as effective as possible.
How to know if the baby has pneumonia
Regarding the babies, the priests can look for a pneumonia when the flu symptoms presented by this person take a long time to pass through the week, such as fever that is low, constant toss, lack of appetite, rapid and difficult breathing to breathe, for example.
It is important that the baby is taken to the pediatrician so that exams are carried out and the diagnosis is concluded, initiating the appropriate treatment. Likewise, it is important that certain care is taken during the treatment of the baby, such as:
- Apply physiological serum by inhalation 2 to 3 times a day following the pediatrician’s indications;
- Encouraging the baby to eat, giving preference to fruits, maternal milk or formula;
- Give water to the baby;
- Dress the baby according to the temperature, avoiding exposing him to sudden changes in temperature;
- Avoid using medications for the lungs that have not been indicated by the pediatrician, as they can facilitate the accumulation of secretions in the lungs.
In the most serious cases where the baby does not want to eat, has a lack of air or the present fever above 39 ºC, the pediatrician may recommend hospitalization to receive oxygen, administer medication intravenously and receive blood without food.
How to confirm the diagnosis
To confirm the diagnosis of this illness, the doctor may request samples of respiratory secretions from the nose and throat to be analyzed in the laboratory, which should be collected, ideally, before the 3rd day of the illness or before the 7th day. the beginning of symptoms, with the purpose of identifying the virus.
Similarly, exams such as chest X-ray are performed to assess lung compromise; as well as blood tests, which include a complete hematology and arterial blood gas analysis, to assess blood oxygenation, thus determining how serious the infection is. In any case where you have a suspicion of pneumonia, it is advisable to consult a general practitioner, pediatrician or neumonologist to initiate the appropriate treatment and prevent the disease from getting worse.
How is the treatment performed?
The treatment for viral infections is indicated by the doctor and must be carried out under certain guidelines such as:
- I rest at home, avoiding going to school or work;
- Good hydration by means of water, tea, coconut water or natural juices;
- Light diet, avoiding fatty foods.
In addition, the treatment of a viral pneumonia or a flu caused by the H1N1, H5N1 or COVID-19 viruses, in people who are at risk of developing pneumonia, such as elderly and children, also involves the use of antiviral drugs prescribed by the doctor general or neumonologist, such as Oseltamivir, Zanamivir and Ribavirina, for example.
The treatment can be carried out at home, however, when the person shows signs of seriousness, such as difficulty breathing, low oxygenation in blood, mental confusion or alterations in the functioning of the kidneys, hospitalization may be necessary for the administration of intravenous medication and the use of an oxygen mask. Find out more details on how to treat viral pneumonia.
How to prevent viral pneumonia
To prevent viral infections of any kind, it is very important to keep your hands clean, washing or using alcohol and gel whenever you visit public places, such as on the bus, shopping centers and markets, in addition to avoiding sharing personal items, such as cubbies. and vases.
The flu vaccine, which is applied annually, is also an excellent way to prevent infection from the main types of virus.
Watch in the video the continuation of how to wash your hands correctly to avoid infection by a virus:
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