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

Beneficial bacteria may protect breasts from cancer

Bacteria that have the potential to abet breast cancer are present in the breasts of cancer patients, while beneficial bacteria are more abundant in healthy breasts, where they may actually be protecting women from cancer, ...

Beyond the sweetness of sugar

We all know the nutritional "evils" of sugar as a potential cause of obesity, chronic disease and death, through to being a potentially brain damaging substance.

Real life brain studies: 3D brain-on-a-chip

To study brain cell's operation and test the effect of medication on individual cells, the conventional Petri dish with flat electrodes is not sufficient. For truly realistic studies, cells have to flourish within three-dimensional ...

Faster detection of pathogens in the lungs

What used to take several weeks is now possible in two days: Thanks to new molecular-based methods, mycobacterial pathogens that cause pulmonary infections or tuberculosis can now be detected much more quickly. Time-consuming ...