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

Gene variant that dramatically reduces 'bad' lipids

In the first study to emerge from the UK10K Project's cohort of samples from the general public, scientists have identified a rare genetic variant that dramatically reduces levels of certain types of lipids in the blood. ...

The genetics of coping with HIV

We respond to infections in two fundamental ways. One, which has been the subject of intensive research over the years, is "resistance," where the body attacks the invading pathogen and reduces its numbers. Another, which ...