Pneumonia: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Often thought of as something that one could never get, around 1,27,000 people succumb to pneumonia each year. This figure was 178,000 in 2013. India contributes 23% of the worldwide pneumonia burden, with case fatality rates ranging from 14% to 30%. Even though rates of pneumonia have decreased in India, it remains a grave cause of morbidity in the country.

This blog will help you recognise the symptoms of pneumonia, along with numerous treatment options.

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that can damage one or both lungs. It causes cough, fever, and breathing difficulties, among other symptoms. A person who has a cold, flu, bacterial infection, or another infection may develop pneumonia as a subsequent ailment. Pneumonia is more common from autumn through spring since there are more incidences of colds and flu.

Pneumonia and Covid

In 2019, 2.5 million people succumbed to pneumonia, including 672,000 children. The COVID-19 pandemic, along with climate change, contributed to pneumonia, placing millions moreImageat risk of catching the disease. The predicted number of deaths from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in 2021 is 6 million. However, the young and the elderly were the most susceptible.

Symptoms of Pneumonia

Pneumonia, ranging from mild to severe, comes with symptoms that include a cough with or without mucus (phlegm), fever, chills, nausea, diarrhoea and difficulty breathing. The severity of your pneumonia is determined by your age, overall health, and the source of your illness.

Risk Factors

Pneumonia can affect people of any age, although it is more prevalent and can be more severe in people with chronic illnesses such as asthma, people with heart and lung ailments, premature babies, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.

Other factors that increase susceptibility to pneumonia include:

  • Air pollution
  • Using biomass fuels for cooking or heating (cow dung or wood)
  • Smoking


Your healthcare practitioner will review your medical history, perform a physical exam, and order diagnostic testing such as a chest X-ray to diagnose pneumonia. This information can assist in determining the type of pneumonia you have.


Mild pneumonia is usually treatable at home with rest, antibiotics and viral or fungal treatments, and plenty of fluids. Severe instances may necessitate hospitalisation. If your symptoms worsen, get medical attention immediately. It is advisable to complete your prescribed antibiotics course unless directed by a healthcare practitioner.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and proper hygiene can help lower your risk of having pneumonia. Early treatment of pneumonia is critical for recovery. If you experience pneumonia symptoms, make an appointment with your healthcare provider right away for a timely diagnosis and treatment.

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