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By Dr Zulfikar BuxI have had the experience of informing patients that they have Pneumonia and they are clueless to whatDr Zulfikar Buxthis means. Understanding what pneumonia is can be helpful,Cheap Jerseys 2018, given that early treatment can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus (purulent material), causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever,Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic, chills, and difficulty breathing.A variety of organisms, including bacteria,Wholesale NFL Jerseys China, viruses and fungi, can cause pneumonia. In Guyana, it becomes more prevalent during the rainy season and therefore we should try to have a better understanding of it given that the rains have just started.CAUSESMany germs can cause pneumonia. The most common are bacteria and viruses in the air we breathe. Your body usually prevents these germs from infecting your lungs. But sometimes these germs can overpower your immune system, even if your health is generally good. Pneumonia is classified according to the types of germs that cause it and where you got the infection.SYMPTOMSThe signs and symptoms of pneumonia vary from mild to severe, depending on factors such as the type of germ causing the infection, and your age and overall health. Mild signs and symptoms often are similar to those of a cold or flu, but they last longer. Signs and symptoms of pneumonia may include:·    Fever, sweating and shaking chills·    Cough, which may produce phlegm·    Chest pain when you breathe or cough·    Shortness of breath·    Fatigue·    Nausea, vomiting or diarrheaNewborns and infants may not show any sign of the infection. They may vomit, have a fever and cough, appear restless or tired and without energy, or have difficulty breathing and eating.WHO’S MORE AT RISK?Those with any of the following conditions are more at risk for acquiring pneumonia:·    a weakened immune system, either due to disease such as HIV/AIDS or cancer, or to medications that suppress immune function;·    infants and children 2 years of age or younger;·    age 65 and older;·    having a chronic disease such as cystic fibrosis, COPD,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, sickle cell anemia, asthma, heart disease, or diabetes;·    swallowing or coughing problems, as may occur following stroke or other brain injury;·    Persons that are malnourished·    Cigarette smoking- especially chronic smokersTREATMENTThe treatment of pneumonia depends on the cause,Jerseys Wholesale, the severity of the disease and the doctors’ findings. Symptomatic treatment along with appropriate antibiotic therapy is the mainstay of pneumonia treatment. This should only be decided by a doctor and you should not attempt to take antibiotics on your own.WHEN SHOULD YOU VISIT A DOCTOR?See your doctor if you have difficulty breathing, chest pain, persistent fever of 102 F (39 C) or higher or persistent cough,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, especially if you’re coughing-up pus. Individuals with any of the previously listed risk factors should visit a doctor if they begin to present with any of the symptoms of pneumonia.Pneumonia has a death rate that ranges from 5-10% and should not be taken lightly. Now that you have a better idea of what pneumonia is, you should not hesitate to visit your doctor if you suspect you are having symptoms of the disease. Accessing early care will allow for timely treatment which will decrease your chances of having severe life-threatening forms of pneumonia.(Dr Zulfikar Bux is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Vanderbilt Uinversity and Medical Center and holds the position of Head of the Georgetown Public Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department.)
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