Pneumonia – Combined with Influenza #7 Killer in the USA

October 8, 2008

Until 1936, pneumonia was the No.1 cause of death in the U.S. In 2000, pneumonia and influenza combined ranked as the seventh leading cause of death.

Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) is a general term used to describe infection of the respiratory tract from bacterial, fungal or viral agents. Pneumonia is one such infection.

Pneumonia is an inflammation or infection of the lungs. The lungs’ air sacs fill with pus, mucus, and other liquid and can not function properly. Oxygen can not reach the blood. If there is insufficient oxygen in the blood, body cells can not function properly and may die. Lobar pneumonia affects a section (lobe) of a lung. Bronchial pneumonia (or bronchopneumonia) affects patches throughout both lungs.

Bacterial pneumonia can attack infants to the elderly. People with weakened immune systems, respiratory diseases or viral infections are at the greatest risk for pneumonia, as are alcoholics, the debilitated, and post-operative patients. Half of all pneumonias are believed to be caused by viruses. Most of these pneumonias are not serious and last a short time. Mycoplasmas are the smallest free-living agents of disease in humankind. Mycoplasma pneumonia is characterized by a cough that comes in violent attacks but produces only sparse whitish mucus. Chills and fever are early symptoms, and some patients experience nausea or vomiting. Patients may experience profound weakness which lasts for a long time.
Pneumonia is a serious condition and requires medical attention and treatment. Untreated pneumonia has dangerous consequences, including death.

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