Pneumonia is a respiratory condition that occurs when the air sacs in the lungs become inflamed or filled with pus. It can develop following a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection and is a common complication of the flu. Treatment depends on the type and severity of the infection and may include rest, increased fluid intake, antibiotics, antiviral medicine, oxygen therapy, and breathing treatments.
About one million people in the United States are hospitalized with pneumonia every year, making it the leading cause of hospitalization (apart from women giving birth). Recovery typically takes six to eight weeks, and the infection kills 50,000 people per year.
Severe symptoms most often manifest in children and senior citizens, but pneumonia still poses a threat to everyone of all ages. Here are the most common symptoms to watch out for:
- Cough lasting several days, often with mucus production
- Chest pain when coughing or breathing
- Chills and sweating
- Shortness of breath leading to fast or labored breathing
- Fatigue and weakness
- Vomiting and diarrhea
Infants and toddlers may not show signs of infection. On the other hand, they may develop these symptoms:
- Rapid breathing
- Wheezing or grunting (most often present with viral pneumonia)
- Working hard to breathe (nostril flaring or belly breathing)
- Stuffy nose
- Shaking chills
- Tiredness and fussiness
- Poor feeding (in infants) or loss of appetite (in older children)
Infected people over age 65 are more likely to experience severe symptoms than other age groups. These individuals are susceptible to the following pneumonia complications:
- Confusion or changes in mental awareness
- Decreased body temperature (also applies to people with weak immune systems)
The signs and symptoms of pneumonia may look like other health problems, including COVID-19. If you or anyone in your family is experiencing respiratory distress or other medical concerns, visit the nearest emergency room for treatment.
What is Walking Pneumonia?
The term “walking pneumonia” refers to an infection that isn’t serious enough to require bed rest or hospitalization. Chances are you won’t need to see a doctor for mild walking pneumonia symptoms.
Walking pneumonia can occur in both children and adults. It’s caused by bacteria that produce gradual symptoms similar to the common cold. The main symptoms of walking pneumonia include:
- Lingering cough
- Chest pain
- Low-grade fever (101 degrees or less)
- Decreased appetite
- General feeling of discomfort
Emergency Pneumonia Care in Texas
Exceptional Emergency Center is a freestanding emergency hospital offering pneumonia treatment in Amarillo, Beaumont, Brownsville, Ft. Worth, Harlingen, Livingston, Lubbock, Port Arthur, Saches/Garland, Orange, and Tyler, TX. We are currently taking extra precautions to protect you, your family, and our staff from COVID-19, so you can confidently seek treatment at our emergency clinic.
Contact us with any questions or concerns you have, or schedule your visit online to enjoy the best ER care in Texas.