Pneumonia Symptoms Not To Be Confused With Flu, Covid, Dengue

Pneumonia Symptoms Not To Be Confused With Flu, Covid, Dengue

Pneumonia is a common infection that occurs in the chest and affects the lungs. Every year millions of people die due to this infection even though it is common and even when it has its own set of treatment procedures. Therefore, it is a serious ailment that needs to be talked about since people often take it lightly as it affects a large number of people every now and then. Moreover, people sometimes don’t know about pneumonia symptoms that seem similar to other diseases. This is what this article is aimed at. We would be discussing how these symptoms are often confused with flu, dengue, or even Covid-19.

Pneumonia Definition

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Pneumonia as:

“A form of acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs. The lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli, which fill with air when a healthy person breathes. When an individual has pneumonia, the alveoli are filled with pus and fluid, which makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake.”

“Pneumonia is the single largest infectious cause of death in children worldwide. Pneumonia killed 740 180 children under the age of 5 in 2019, accounting for 14% of all deaths of children under five years old but 22% of all deaths in children aged 1 to 5. Pneumonia affects children and families everywhere, but deaths are highest in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Children can be protected from pneumonia, it can be prevented with simple interventions, and treated with low-cost, low-tech medication and care.”

Before looking into the list of pneumonia symptoms, let’s mention the causes of this infection first. The infectious agents that are known to promote the spread of it are:

  • The most common factor for the spread of bacterial pneumonia in children is streptococcus pneumoniae.
  • The second most common reason for bacterial pneumonia in young ones is haemophilus influenzae Type B (Hib).
  • The most common one in infants with HIV is pneumocystis jiroveci.

World Pneumonia Day

Our article is specially dedicated to spreading awareness about this infection on World Pneumonia Day. On this observance, it is essential that people get to know more about this common yet serious ailment. This is why we thought to inform people about pneumonia symptoms that resemble other diseases. But prior to that, let’s go understand the World Pneumonia Day theme for better knowledge. The theme that this day is known for every year is “Healthy Lungs For All”. This day came into existence in 2009 after the need to raise and spread awareness about this infection was identified.

Pneumonia Symptoms That You Should Know

There are a host of pneumonia symptoms in adults and infants that many ignore or think to be linked to other diseases. This is due to the fact that they include things like fever and cough (common pneumonia symptoms in infants), which might even occur without an underlying disease. Talking about pneumonia symptoms, Dr Praveen Pandey, a pulmonologist, explained his observations by saying:

“Symptoms of pneumonia vary from very mild to severe. Sometimes a person may have only cold or flu-like symptoms. In elderly patients, the presentation may be like confusion, altered mental status and low temperature. The patient may also have associated loose motion or local chest pain.”

We have curated a list of other common pneumonia symptoms that you should definitely know about. Therefore, go through the below-mentioned list carefully. Also, we have included the points noted by the expert in our article.

  • When you breathe or cough you experience chest pain. This chest pain might be acute or severe. It is advised that such an occurrence is not ignored and is taken care of with utmost caution.
  • The observed pneumonia symptoms in adults who are 65 years old or older show that they are confused and have mental health issues. This would be reflected in their daily activities as they won’t be able to concentrate on anything. However, this sign if present with other signs should be considered to be authentic as with age confusion generally comes in uninvited.
  • One of the most common pneumonia symptoms and signs is phlegm which comes out when we cough. The phlegm production in the body increases if one is affected with pneumonia. This is due to the fact that the body is trying to fight the infectious agents on its own. There are chances that people might cough up pus as well. The list of pneumonia symptoms in infants includes this as well.
  • The pneumonia symptoms fever observance are pretty general. People affected are often noted to have a high body temperature. Pneumonia symptoms fever and phlegm production are two things that act as the body’s defence against foreign infectious substances or bacteria. Further, the pneumonia symptoms fever is accompanied by sweating and even causes a person to feel cold.
  • People often feel exhausted if they are infected with pneumonia.
  • Sometimes people who have a weak immune system or are older than 65 might even experience a lower body temperature, which is far below the normal temperature. It is one of the rare pneumonia symptoms in adults.
  • Patients even experience shortness of breath as they are not able to breathe the same way they used to prior to being infected.
  • It may even lead to vomiting, nausea or even diarrhoea.

Pneumonia symptoms and signs like fever, cough, and shortness of breath are often associated with flu, dengue, and Covid-19. However, people should look for other signs that have been discussed above. If found, then they should try consulting a doctor for speedy treatment and recovery.

When To Consult A Doctor?

One should visit a doctor in case they are experiencing problems while breathing, continuous fever, coughing, and chest pain. Along with these, there are some special cases in which if any of these signs are noticed, they need to rush to the doctor. These cases have been stated below.

  • People older than the age of 65.
  • Ones who have underlying health issues.
  • Those who have a weak immune system.
  • Children who are aged less than two years and are seen to have pneumonia symptoms in infants.
  • Ones who are going through medication or treatment such as chemotherapy that weakens the immune system.

Habits And Things To Do To Prevent Pneumonia

We know that prevention is better than cure and therefore here is a list of things to do that would play a major role in deterring pneumonia from affecting you.

  • Eat a healthy diet that has proper nutrition.
  • Always keep yourself hydrated.
  • Ensure proper immunisation. For all adults, it is recommended that they take vaccinations against streptococcus pneumoniae, hemophilus influenzae type b, SARS CoV-2 virus, Influenza virus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Mumps, Rubella, and Measles.
  • Live in hygienic surroundings.
  • Quit smoking if you haven’t already.
  • Exercise regularly to keep the body active so that it can fight against a host of infectious agents.
  • Maintain optimum sugar levels in the body.
  • Try not to consume medicines that have been specifically prescribed for you.

Bottom Line

Pneumonia is a chest infection that can even turn out to be fatal if not treated in time. Such a situation can arise if the occurrence of pneumonia symptoms and signs is not observed or linked with other ailments. This is why make a note of the signs that this infection is known for and the next time you spot these in you or others around, do get a check-up done. It is better to be safe from all sides, so take the vaccinations that are available for this infection as soon as possible (the list is provided above). In addition, practice the habits that have been mentioned above to prevent this kind of infection from affecting you.

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Alessia Braun

Alessia Braun is a health, fitness, and beauty influencer who wishes to share her knowledge through her articles in News Magnify.

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