Is Pneumonia contagious?
To understand the facts about the contagion effects of pneumonia, we first need to understand how pneumonia is caused. We should also be able to know why and what are the reasons or organisms that work behind the cause of pneumonia. Along with that, the symptoms of pneumonia, remedies and cure can also be discussed. In this way, a broader aspect of the disease can be thoroughly discussed and apparently, we can easily conclude whether pneumonia is contagious or not.
So to the question regarding what pneumonia is, pneumonia is disease where your lungs begin inflammation especially in the lung tissue. The pathways or airways of the lungs begin to fill with pus or unwanted cell material causing the air sacs to not working correctly. The tissue of the lungs is very delicate as it facilitates air to flow in an out. The tissue of the lungs can be easily damaged with a slight mistreatment because they are so delicate . If such a scenario takes place, pneumonia can occur easily.
Pneumonia can occur due to the invading of 30 different organisms. This organisms include virus, bacteria and even fungi. Along with that, dust particles and intoxicating fine particle if enters into the air sacs of lungs, it may be a potential cause for pneumonia. But in medical science, in most cases the reason for pneumonia is due to virus or bacteria.The most common type is the Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Types of Pneumonia
There are several types of pneumonia as you can imagine. It can actually be interpreted in several way due to factors involved in its severity, effect and also the environment. In most
cases, pneumonia is classified by doctors in the way that it is acquired into a host body. So we can understand what type of pneumonia it is through understanding how it came to the body in the first place. Based on such factor, the types of pneumonia is described below.
Community-acquired Pneumonia or CAP is a type of pneumonia which is acquired by the host body not from the hospital, but from the outside environment. In hospitals or a general health care environment, the case of being affected by pneumonia is comparatively low, in that case, most of the pneumonia patients that come is effected by community acquired pneumonia. CAP is a common disease in winter among the people and such cases are brought forward on a regular basis.
Hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP)
Hospital acquired pneumonia or (HAP) is the type of pneumonia where a person gets affected with pneumonia when he is already hospitalized. The patient develops pneumonia while his stay in the hospital for different medical condition other than pneumonia. This sort of pneumonia is actually further dangerous because the patient is already in a serious condition as he is hospitalized. In hospitals or for extensive care, ventilating support is given to the patients, such artificial ventilations are potential threat for acquiring Hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP). Such pneumonia can also be acquired from other health care settings like as the kidney dialysis centers, nursing homes or even the outpatient clinics.
Other than such classification based on from where the pneumonia disease go into the body, there is another classification in which it describes how the inflammatory cells attack the lung tissue or how it’s physical appearance is. Such types of pneumonia disease are described below.
In this case, the patient’s air sacs have inflammation in a scattered way and also there are patchy infiltrates. These all are affected throughout the lungs
In case of Lobar pneumonia, there occurs inflammation of particularly a single lung. This sort of inflammation in the single lobe creates effect throughout the whole airspace of that particular lobe.
Lipoid pneumonia basically refers to the coagulation of fats within the airspaces of the lungs. The main reason of Lipoid pneumonia or such accumulation of fails is due to the aspiration of oils or even for the obstruction of the airways
Pneumonia can also be categorized by what organism the inflammation occurs. Like for example, there is viral pneumonia, bacterial pneumonia and also fungal pneumonia. If the person is infected by virus, then it is called viral pneumonia. The patient if effected through bacteria, then this sort of pneumonia is known as bacterial pneumonia. Similarly, if the inflammation is occurred due to the influence of fungi, then this type of pneumonia is termed as fungal pneumonia. These are the most common types of pneumonia based on which organism is causing the disease.
Other than the previously mentioned types of pneumonia, there are also miscellaneous types of pneumonia too. For example, if you inhale drink or even food, saliva or vomit into your lungs, your swallowing reflex is impaired. This impaired reflex hampers your lungs and can be a potential threat and can also cause pneumonia. This type of pneumonia is known as aspiration pneumonia and can cause when the person is intoxicated or suffering from a brain injury.
Another occasionally mild type of pneumonia is the walking pneumonia.This is known a atypical pneumonia because it is not the same a s the normal type of pneumonia caused by typical bacteria as discussed previously. Rather, it is different and in most of the cases, it is not serious at all, just an infection in the lungs like as normal cold. If a person suffers from walking pneumonia, then he will have sore throat, headache, tiredness and also fever with chills. Mild flu and severe coughing without mucus is another symptom of walking pneumonia. Walking pneumonia is caused by mycoplasma which is an atypical bacterium and is the smallest agent that can affect the humans!
In case of Hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP), there is another type of pneumonia that can occur when a person is on a ventilator under the support for respiratory problems especially in the intensive care units. This type of pneumonia when arises is known as ventilator associated pneumonia.
Understanding the contagious nature of Pneumonia
Till now, all we have known are the types of pneumonia that may arise. Along with these more common forms of pneumonia, there are also several other types. The basic concept of pneumonia disease is that it hinders the respiration process and so it is generally a respiratory disease but acts as a cold or flu. When having pneumonia occurs, the patient has more trouble inhaling oxygen as the alveoli are infected with pus cells. In other words, the lungs fail to work properly and so oxygen does not enter the bloodstream as normal. This is the reason in most cases of pneumonia, the patient needs to undergo intensive care and medication as well.
Pneumonia is a dangerous disease and in cases it has turned deadly for many people. It drains out the life form and energy actually. Breathing problems are quite dangerous in general because they mess up your body’s natural breathing system. So pneumonia is something that people should try to avoid or take precautions to not catch it . A very crucial statement here is to understand how a person can be affected with this disease. In other words, how this disease spread.
Speaking of which, is this disease contagious? The answer is that it various. You have known that there are several types pneumonia and all of these diseases are not the same though they act and serve the similar purpose. So we have to understand that this contagious factor of pneumonia is also not the exact same for all the types of this disease. Mostly the viral and bacterial pneumonia is contagious. Which means that if the person suffers from pneumonia and virus or bacteria is the root cause of this disease, then it is, in general known to be contagious. But there is a catch to it.
What is a contagious disease
We have known about the facts of pneumonia till now to discuss whether pneumonia is contagious or not. But the term contagious has several clauses that are embedded with it. To understand fully the concept of pneumonia are its extent of contagious nature, we must figure out what actually contagious diseases are. To understand what are contagious diseases, we will be looking at general and appropriate definition. Along with bookish definitions, we should also analyze the facts and get in deep with the understandings to know more. This is what we shall be doing in the coming segment. Pneumonia is contagious and we are trying to figure out on what ground the statement is true and to what extent the statement is valid.If we do not know what contagious diseases actually are, then our findings will not be appropriate.
“A contagious disease is a subset category of transmissible diseases, which are transmitted to other persons, either by physical contact with the person suffering the disease, or by casual contact with their secretions or objects touched by them or airborne route among other routes.”-Wikipedia. This is the basic definition which is used to describe a contagious disease. So we know that a contagious disease is a disease which have the potential to get transmitted to another person. The process of transmission has several variables are is also not the same for all the contagious diseases out there. Some contagious diseases follow a similar mode of transmission from a single host to another whereas other contagious disease must not follow the same. But the common trait of contagious disease is that they are likely to be transmitted from person to person from one way or the other.
The transmission of contagious various and the most common form of transmission is through physical contact. Physical contact is the first and the most dangerous mode of transmission of disease. Contagious disease is mostly due to virus or bacteria. These microorganism has tendency to get transmitted from one host to another and so the diseases that these micro organisms contains are also transmitted along with it. Physical contact with a person who has a contagious disease will most probably get you infected too. But the contagious disease must have the trait to be transmitted through physical contact, then and only then you will be affected. If the contagious disease does not include transmission through physical contact, then you may rest assured that you will not be harmed through just only physical contact.
Similar to physical contact, there are also various other mode of transmission of contagious diseases. These include the casual contact with the secretion of the person included. You may also get infected if you touch objects that are touched by the person who is infected by the contagious disease. Contagious diseases may also be airborne. That means the virus or bacteria causing the contagious disease may affect you through getting transmitted into your body from other host body through the medium of air.
Contagious diseases are very much dangerous and is likely to create an epidemic. So it is very much recommended to stay alert all the time and very very cautious when such spread of contagious diseases is heard of. The most common type of spreading of contagious disease is through handshakes, sneezing, touching things out in the open like in local bus or train.
Pneumonia is also contagious but not all the types. So like the other diseases that are contagious, pneumonia can also spread in similar fashion. It is very much advised to learn about the spreading procedure of pneumonia and what sort of pneumonia can be a potential threat for you and obviously for your family too. By understanding the nature of pneumonia, you can protect yourself from getting affected and also protect your family members. Keeping away from pneumonia is not a big deal at all, you just need to be cautious and also know about what you are dealing with up here. Children below 2 and the people who are above 65 are very much prone to pneumonia as the immune system is not up to the mark.
Is Pneumonia a contagious disease
Pneumonia is a contagious disease, but only if the bacteria and virus is the reason behind the disease. There are also other reason for pneumonia. Like when chemicals or toxic fumes are inhaled, it may hamper the respiratory tracts. This is also a potential cause for pneumonia but the better side is that it is not contagious. Bacteria and virus are the main agent to transfer the disease from one host body to the other, so if a person is is effected by other types of pneumonia and not from bacteria and virus, then that patient is not a potential threat. He is not likely to spread the disease. That form of pneumonia is not contagious. So we have found out from the surface that pneumonia is contagious in several cases and also not contagious at all in the rest. There are also cases when it is unsure whether this sort of pneumonia is contagious or not.
To understand the topic more in depth, we need to understand about the contagious nature of the individual types more. We need to figure out when this form of pneumonia is contagious. We have already discussed the several types of pneumonia that are both common and rare, but we are still unaware if those are contagious or not. Along with getting in depth knowledge about the types of pneumonia, we must also find out why and when this type of pneumonia is contagious. How will it effect the patient and how one is supposed to react when he is affected by that sort of pneumonia.
Pneumonia is a threat for everyone and it is better to prevent this deadly disease. If anyone is affected by pneumonia, he will suffer much and we obviously would not want us or our dear ones to get affected. So prevention is a must. Contagious diseases are very delicate and without proper care and reasoned knowledge about the condition, it is not possible to let that disease away. It is a must that we understand the facts about pneumonia to let this contagious disease keep away.
Pneumonia is actually not contagious. That is you do not catch pneumonia directly as pneumonia itself is not any germ. It is just the name of the disease. What you actually get affected with is the germs that has the potential to cause pneumonia in the host body. In that case, we are mostly referring to virus and bacteria. Virus and bacteria can move from one host body to another host body and if the host body is affected with pneumonia, then the next body where the germ invades gets affected with pneumonia too.
From this, we have understood that for pneumonia to be contagious, it must be carried through an agent. That agent is in most cases virus or bacteria that is the microorganisms. Microorganisms cannot be seen through naked eyes and they generally do not have life of their own. They are prone to find a host body and invade that host body for living. In this life cycle of the organisms, it tend to reproduce in a special manner basing on its natural process. But when the virus or bacteria are a potential threat, that means if it has the capability to bring forth pneumonia then it is dangerous for the host body. The whole immune system will fight to keep the invading germs away. When the immune system fails, then you will be affected with pneumonia.
The contagious nature of the pneumonia is understood by that. We are not to be worried about the disease itself, but we must stay alert for the germs that carries this disease. They are the ones who make pneumonia contagious and if you are affected with the contagious type of pneumonia, then be sure that it is due to the viral pneumonia or bacterial pneumonia. It is because these sort of pneumonia is only contagious, not the others.
The Incubation Period
By incubation period for a disease, we mean the period between exposure to an infection and the appearance of the first symptoms. This is the general definition of the term. In general sense, it means the time period in between when the germs enter your body to the time of the first surfacing of the symptom. A fact about all sort of disease is that you will not fall sick instantly, that is you will not be sick right at the time the pathogenic organism infiltrates your immune system. It takes time for the incubation period and at that time the germs begin to develop. When the germs are properly develop, then your immune system will not hold it back, rather your organ systems will begin to work abruptly and you will show symptoms of the concerned disease. So there is a gap between getting infected with the disease and showing the first symptom of that disease. This is known as the incubation period.
Incubation period is also found in case of pneumonia. So you will not be able to tell that you are affected by pneumonia until your body begins to show some symptoms. This is very common and for contagious pneumonia, it is a total understandable fact. You can pick up any sort of pneumonia from anywhere like described previously. If you catch pneumonia, it is more likely that you will be getting affected with viral pneumonia or the bacterial pneumonia. If that is the case, virus pathogen or bacterial pathogen from another host body containing the pneumonia disease will enter in your immune system. That is when you will become infected. After a fixed period of time, you will be showing several sort of symptoms of pneumonia and it would be understood that you are affected with pneumonia. This fixed period of time is known as the incubation period of pneumonia. If we want to talk about contagious disease, understanding about the incubation period is a must. So there is also incubation period of pneumonia and it is about seven to 10 days. But the incubation period of pneumonia may vary due to age or overall health of the person who is affected. For example, children below 2 years of age or people who are more than 65, their incubation period will be lesser.
The symptoms of Pneumonia
There are certain ways the body will react if it is affected with a disease or so. These particular ways of reaction of the body is fixed due to that very disease every time. This reactions are known as symptoms. So, if you are affected with a disease, then the way your body will react will be the very same of another person who is affected by the same disease. We understand in this process that what is the nature of that disease and proper diagnosis and identification of the disease will be possible in the first stage. Symptoms are generally the signs of the disease which help us to identify the disease in the first step. After learning about the symptoms, we can easily conclude what sort of disease is that and later on we can work on the cure.
Pneumonia is a disease that needs immediate attention. Without proper care and taking the right decisions from the very beginning, the case is likely to become worse and ultimately get out of hand. We obviously do not want that and so there are chalked out symptoms for all sort of diseases. Pneumonia has also some common symptoms that will help us to identify if the person showing such symptoms is actually suffering from pneumonia or not.
In the early stage, the symptoms of pneumonia is very similar to that of flu or the same when you catch a cold. But with time, it will gradually become worse and it will last more than 10 days. The body will have high fever along with chills. Coughing will be common and will produce a lot of mucus. During those coughs, there will be much pain in the chest and also there will be aching during the inhalation and exhalation process. Fatigue will be common and you will have shortness of breath more often. Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting are also the symptoms of pneumonia. Firstly you will have the common symptoms of flu. But gradually it will develop to these symptoms in not more than 1 to 3 days in total. If you see such a condition, it is likely that you have been affected with pneumonia and if that pneumonia is viral or bacterial, it will be contagious too.
The severity of contagious Pneumonia
You are more susceptible to getting infected with pneumonia if you have a weaker immune system. Your immune system is the only defense against the pathogenic organism that try to invade your body. The pathogens or alien bodies get into your body through various agents and later on try to break the barriers and make your body their host. This is when you get affected with a disease. Without having a strong immune system, your body will be very much prone to diseases. You will fall sick on a regular basis. In case of pneumonia, the situation is also same.
If your immune system is weak, you are more prone to catching pneumonia. We have understood that the virus or bacteria is the main cause of contagious pneumonia. So if your immune system is weak, it cannot protect against the severity of those germs or harmful pathogens. In that case, you are likely to get infected with viral pneumonia or bacterial pneumonia. Your immune system needs to build a protective layer and kill those pathogens before they attack your body and make it their host. So by getting away from the contagious pneumonia, your immune system must be strong enough to protect itself and do it’s job.
Other then this, there is a factor of age. People who are above the age of 65, begin to lose their protection against pneumonia. Their immune system does not work properly to keep contagious diseases away. Again, children below the age of 2 are also in the same category. Their immune system is not that of an ideal one resulting in the failure to keep aways germs. They are prone to viral and bacterial pneumonia that is contagious. Also they are likely to be affected with the other sort of pneumonia too.
Contagious disease is such that it searches for a host body. In order to find the host body, it needs to find weakness first. On finding the weakness on the potential host body, they will try to invade and if it succeeds, you will be affected by that contagious disease. Weakness comes from diseases and if you have a medical condition from before, there is a high chance that pneumonia can affect you. The outcome of such occurring of pneumonia will not be forgiving at all. There is a high chance that the patient is going to suffer a lot because the body is going through a lot from the previous disease. So its severity is highly severe and proper care and medication would be needed. If untreated, the effect of pneumonia can be severe.
The patient suffering from pneumonia will have serious problems in breathing and cracking sound can be heard while breathing too. This can be heard through a stethoscope. A simple cough-cold or a flu along with a temperature will turn severe for pneumonia. It is advised that a doctor should be consulted at the very initial stage before the effects of pneumonia can turn severe. It is not recommended to wait at all when symptoms begin to show.
How to protect yourself from contagious pneumonia
We have come to know about the various kinds of pneumonia and how do they affect the body. We have also known about similar facts and has done several analysis of the contagious type of pneumonia. A common ground about the contagious form of pneumonia is that the danger part for spreading is the germs. The germs that carry pneumonia are the threat to the people who are still not affected with pneumonia. So if you come across a person who is affected with pneumonia, then there will be a general question in your mind that will the disease affect you too. In other words, will the disease from that person spread to you. The answer is quite complex as there are several factors that are working here. These factors are discussed above and you will get reference from them to solve your mystery.
But for the sake of argument, let’s just assume that the person we are discussing about is suffering from viral pneumonia or bacterial pneumonia. If this is the case we are looking at, then we can easily say that the disease is prone to spread and it can come to you too. This kind of pneumonia is contagious and actually a threat for the people around. The virus and bacteria from the person affected with pneumonia can come to your body or the people around and they will also catch pneumonia. We obviously would not want that and on the other hand, we would want to get away from this disease. In order to save ourselves from pneumonia that is contagious, we should follow some basic instructions. The next segment will be about the precautions of contagious pneumonia and how you can save yourself as well as your family from this disease.
As we have known that pneumonia comes in various forms so it is quite hard to deal with this contagious disease. Being contagious, pneumonia makes it much more complex as there are plenty options for the disease to spread. The disease will affect any healthy person if it can reach its body. So the first thing we need to make sure the virus and bacteria that is responsible for contagious pneumonia does not enter into the body of a healthy person. If this precaution is thoroughly maintained, then the chance of catching pneumonia will drastically reduce. The germs if fail to enter the body, they cannot make it their host and spread the disease inside.
But these are easier said than done. Germs cannot be seen or felt and we would also don’t know if it already got inside and is in its incubation period. So the matter becomes more difficult to contain. The first chance for the germs to enter your body is through contact. If a person who is affected with contagious pneumonia, do not come in contact directly. Your hands and your face is more likely to catch the germ and make it possible for the germs to enter your body. That is why, it is advised to wash your hands with antiseptic after coming in contact with a patient. In general, wash your hands with antiseptic to keep away from germs and diseases. Keep a cover on your mouth and nose too. It is also a good practice to cover your mouth when sneezing so that germs do not spread.
Your immune system should always be ready for any sort of diseases. For that, you should be healthy. Your lifestyle should be healthy and try to keep fit all the time. It will keep away not only pneumonia but also all sort of diseases. Eating a healthy diet is the best prevention for all the diseases and all the specialists in this field will recommend you the same. You must also take adequate rest and sleep well.
Smoking is a very bad habit and creates abruptness in the lungs. As we know that pneumonia creates pus or liquid in your lungs and thus create obstacle in breathing. Respiration process gets hindered due to pneumonia. Smoking is a catalyst for pneumonia. It gradually destroys the lungs with the harmful particles in the puff of cigarettes. So for smoking, your lungs will fail to work properly and your body will become very much prone to pneumonia. The same goes with alcohol. Smoking and drinking is not a healthy way to lead your life and so it is advised that you keep yourself away from such things. It will help you to keep away pneumonia as well as other diseases.
You are also advised to take plenty of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps you to keep the mucus in your lungs lose so they can work properly without any complications.
Once you show the signs of minor cough, cold or a flu, it is advised that you take precaution right from then. The primary symptoms of pneumonia is like simple flu but with time, it evolves to pneumonia.
Once you see the symptoms of pneumonia, the best first step is to consult with a doctor. A doctor will prescribe medicine and the antibiotic will work for you. It will clear away the disease and make you healthy like before. In the case of bacterial pneumonia and fungal pneumonia that are contagious, drugs are very much effective. But in the case of viral pneumonia, the situation is not the same. Doctors have their own way of handling the matter and so it is recommended that you consult the doctor and get healthier as soon as possible. A speedy recovery is possible if you follow these guidelines. However there is still a chance you could still catch contagious pneumonia. At this point you would want to then seek a doctor’s help.
Other than these simple forms of pneumonia in patients, there are some severe cases where medicine or simple remedies are not enough. Medical procedures are required to drain out the infected tissue from the lungs.