Table of Contents
- Pneumonia facts
- What is pneumonia?
- What are the different types of pneumonia?
- What are the different types of pneumonia? (Continued)
- Is pneumonia contagious?
- What is the contagious period for pneumonia?
- What causes pneumonia?
- What are risk factors for pneumonia?
- What is the incubation period for pneumonia?
- What are pneumonia symptoms and signs?
- How long does pneumonia last?
- How do health care professionals diagnose pneumonia?
- What is the treatment for pneumonia?
- What types of doctors treat pneumonia?
- What are complications of pneumonia?
- What is the prognosis of pneumonia?
- Is it possible to prevent pneumonia? Is there a pneumonia vaccine?
- Are side effects associated with the pneumonia vaccine?
- How many pneumonia vaccines do you need?
What causes pneumonia?
Streptococcus pneumoniae, a type of bacteria, is the most common cause of pneumonia. Legionella pneumophila is the bacterial type that causes the pneumonia known as Legionnaires' disease. Other bacteria types that can cause pneumonia include the bacteria that cause so-called "atypical" pneumonia, Legionella pneumophila, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Chlamydophila pneumonia. Haemophilus influenzae is a type of bacteria that can cause pneumonia. It most commonly causes disease in babies and children younger than 5 years of age. Adults 65 years or older, American Indians, and Alaska Natives are also at increased risk for developing H. influenzae disease.
The most common cause of viral pneumonia in adults is the influenza virus. A number of different respiratory viruses cause pneumonia in children, such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). While viral pneumonia tends to be less severe than bacterial pneumonia, there is a risk of developing secondary bacterial pneumonia when viral pneumonia is present. Other virus types that can cause pneumonia include measles and varicella (chickenpox) viruses. Rarely, certain viruses may develop lethal pneumonias such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) or MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome); both diseases are caused by different coronaviruses.
Fungi that cause pneumonia include Cryptococcus, Histoplasma, and Coccidioides. In most individuals, these organisms don't cause illness, but they can cause pneumonia in some people. Fungal infections are most common in those with weakened immune systems due to HIV/AIDS or those taking medications that suppress immune function. Another infection that is considered a fungal type of pneumonia is Pneumocystis jiroveci, formerly known as Pneumocystis carinii. This organism became known as a frequent cause of pneumonia in patients with HIV/AIDS.
American Lung Association. "Pneumonia Fact Sheet." <http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/influenza/in-depth-resources/pneumonia-fact-sheet.html>.
"Healthcare-Associated Pneumonia." Medscape.com. <http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/558518>.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Pneumonia." Aug. 24, 2016. <http://www.cdc.gov/pneumonia/index.html>.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Pneumococcal Vaccination: Who Needs It?" Nov. 22, 2016. <http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/pneumo/vacc-in-short.htm>.