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Pneumonia

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a fairly common respiratory disease, with about 2 to 3 million cases diagnosed every year in the US alone. For those requiring hospitalization, approximately 14% will die of the disease.

Symptoms

Symptoms include chills, fever, chest pain, cough, labored breathing, fatigue, headache, leucocytosis, bloody sputum and anorexia.

Causes

Pneumonia is caused by a bacterial, fungal or viral infection or injury to the lower portion of the respiratory tract that causes inflammation. These infections and injuries can be caused by breathing in dust or chemical agents that makes fluid enter the alveolar spaces in the lungs. Aspirating stomach contents, water or other irritants can also lead to pneumonia.

Cautions

Risk factors for pneumonia include smoking, alcoholism, upper respiratory tract infection, institutionalization, malnutrition, compromised immune system, and other illnesses like cancer, kidney or liver disease, congestive heart disease or cerebro vascular disorder. If you have the symptoms of pneumonia, see your doctor for diagnosis. Serious cases will require hospitalization.

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