Pneumonia Bacteria

Pneumonia may have a variety of causes. The viruses and bacteria we breathe into our lungs are, however, the most common culprits. Our bodies are usually well-equipped in circumventing bacterial or viral infection in the lungs, but some pathogens can take their toll on the immune system, even if you have a clean bill of health.

Pneumonia has four primary types, categorized based on the germ type and place where it is acquired. These are known as community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP), aspiration pneumonia, and opportunistic pneumonia. 

Community-acquired Pneumonia (CAP) is the most prevalent type of pneumonia, typically acquired in public places such as schools, workspaces, and gyms. The root cause of community-acquired pneumonia can be bacterial, fungal, or viral. The common cold or the flu may contribute to the development of CAP in some cases.

Nosocomial pneumonia – also referred to as hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP), is acquired during a hospital stay, particularly if a patient spends time in the intensive-care unit or is hooked up to a ventilator for a time. Hospital-acquired pneumonia may also form after one undergoes a major operation. This type of pneumonia is especially risky for the elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems.

Aspiration pneumonia transpires if you breathe certain harmful particles into your lungs. The most typical way aspiration pneumonia occurs is when tiny particles make their way into the lungs while getting sick and you are unable to expel them.

Opportunistic pneumonia is a type of pneumonia that is cause for concern for those with impaired immune systems. Some organisms that would generally not be threatening to people with well-functioning immune systems can pose a risk to people with conditions that weaken the immune system such as HIV/AIDS, COPD, or those who have recently received an organ transplant.

An Overview of Pneumonia Risk Factors

Everyone is at risk of catching pneumonia. However, there are two demographics that are at an increased risk of developing pneumonia due to their underdeveloped immune systems: babies and children under the age of 2. In addition, individuals aged 65 and over are also at a higher risk of pneumonia because our immune systems become less effective in fending off infections as we age.

Additional risk factors include some chronic conditions like asthma, COPD, and cardiovascular disease. Conditions and treatments that weaken the immune system can also increase one’s susceptibility to pneumonia, including organ transplantations, HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy, and prolonged use of steroids. Smoking can also have a detrimental effect on your body’s ability to defend itself against viral and bacterial infections that lead to pneumonia.

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Posted on May 5, 2023