Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs (alveoli)—associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space (consolidation) on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes. Infectious agents include: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.

Typical symptoms include cough, chest pain, fever, and difficulty breathing. Diagnostic tools include x-rays and examination of the sputum. Vaccines to prevent certain types of pneumonia are available. Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Presumed bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics.

Although pneumonia was regarded by William Osler in the 19th century as "the captain of the men of death", the advent of antibiotic therapy and vaccines in the 20th century have seen radical improvements in survival outcomes. Nevertheless, in the third world, and among the very old, the very young and the chronically ill, pneumonia remains a leading cause of death.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Popular antioxidant likely ineffective, study finds

The popular dietary supplement ubiquinone, also known as Coenzyme Q10, is widely believed to function as an antioxidant, protecting cells against damage from free radicals. But a new study by scientists at McGill University ...

Research suggests brain's melatonin may trigger sleep

If you walk into your local drug store and ask for a supplement to help you sleep, you might be directed to a bottle labeled "melatonin." The hormone supplement's use as a sleep aid is supported by anecdotal ...

New understanding of stroke damage may aid recovery

Stroke can lead to a wide range of problems such as depression and difficulty moving, speaking and paying attention. Scientists have thought these issues were caused by damage to the brain's "computer processors"—cells ...

Autism detection improved by multimodal neuroimaging

In an ancient Indian parable, a group of blind men touches different parts of a large animal to find what it is. Only when they share the descriptions of an ear, tail, trunk and leg do they know it is an ...

New findings on 'key players' in brain inflammation

Inflammation is the immune system's natural reaction to an 'aggressor' in the body or an injury, but if the inflammatory response is too strong it becomes harmful. For example, inflammation in the brain occurs ...