WHAT IS PNEUMONIA?
With symptoms ranging from mild to severe, pneumonia is a common lung infection typically caused by a virus, bacteria and sometimes fungi. People over the age of 65, and/or have a previously diagnosed lung disease are more susceptible to getting pneumonia, either as a primary infection, or as a complication of the flu or other viral upper respiratory illness. There are lifestyle habits, such as smoking and drinking alcohol in excess, which also increase your risk. Depending on the cause, the treatment is often medication combined with symptom management.
The top causes of the condition are considered ‘community acquired’ and include: the flu virus, a cold virus and a bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae. It occurs when the small air sacs in your lungs, known as alveoli, fill with fluid or pus, making it difficult to breathe. The condition is contagious if it is caused by a bacteria or a virus, therefore precautions should be taken to avoid spreading the illness.