Eminent Pediatric, Dr Salma Shaikh Monday said Pneumonia is an acute infection in the lungs and any one of a number of bacteria, viruses or fungi, or even tuberculosis can cause the infection.
Talking to APP Hyderabad, she said other general symptoms of pneumonia include cough, which may or may not produce chills, fever, sweats, chest pain and shortness of breath.
She said that in winter season the pneumonia is infection of the small air sacs of the lungs and surrounding tissues and the infection causes inflammation and deterioration of lung function. The lungs become unable to easily transfer oxygen to the blood, increasing the work of breathing, she said.
Older people, those whose lungs have been damaged by smoking or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or recently been irritated by a mild infection, such as a cold or, especially, influenza, or poor cough reflex or who are too weak, or having diabetes, or cardiac ailments or cancer in or near the airways of the lungs or paralyzed (for example, by a spinal injury or stroke) are among easy victims of this disease, she said.
She said that the fever is common, and chills, chest pain, and shortness of breath may develop the symptoms depending on how extensive the pneumonia is and which micro-organism is causing the infection.
She said that when choosing an antibiotic, doctors try to predict which type of bacteria is likely to be the cause and the doctor often changes the antibiotic later if the type of bacteria is identified and its susceptibility to various antibiotics becomes known.