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Pneumonia Treatment

Pneumonia Treatment for Child

Pneumonia is a general term for lung infections that can be caused by a variety of germs (viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites). Most cases, though, are caused by viruses, including adenoviruses, rhinovirus, influenza virus (flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus, and parainfluenza virus (which causes croup).

Often, pneumonia begins after an upper respiratory tract infection (an infection of the nose and throat), with symptoms starting after 2 or 3 days of a cold or sore throat. It then moves to the lungs. Fluid, white blood cells, and debris start to gather in the air spaces of the lungs and block the smooth passage of air, making it harder for the lungs to work well.

Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms vary depending on a child’s age and what caused the pneumonia, but can include:

shaking chills
stuffy nose
very fast breathing (in some cases, this is the only symptom).
breathing with grunting or wheezing sounds.
working hard to breathe; this can include flaring of the nostrils, belly breathing, or movement of the muscles between the ribs.
chest pain.
abdominal pain, which often happens because a child is coughing and working hard to breathe.
less activity.
loss of appetite (in older kids) or poor feeding (in infants), which may lead to dehydration.
in extreme cases, bluish or gray color of the lips and fingernails.
If the pneumonia is in the lower part of the lungs near the abdomen, a child might have a fever and abdominal pain or vomiting but no breathing problems.

Pneumonia Treatment

Kids with pneumonia caused by bacteria usually become sick fairly quickly, starting with a sudden high fever and unusually fast breathing.

Kids with pneumonia caused by viruses probably will have symptoms that appear more gradually and are less severe, though wheezing can be more common.

Some symptoms give important clues about which germ is causing the pneumonia. For example, in older kids and teens, pneumonia due to Mycoplasma (also called walking pneumonia) is notorious for causing a sore throat, headache, and rash in addition to the usual symptoms of pneumonia.

Pneumonia Treatment