Bacterial pneumonia is a form of lung infection caused by certain bacteria that can be potentially fatal if left untreated. The most common one to cause this is Streptococcus (pneumococcus). This condition causes your air sacs to become inflamed and may be also filled with fluid, pus, or cellular debris. Pneumonia can also be caused by viruses or fungi.
The infection may affect only a small section of your lung or affect an entire lung or both of your lungs. Pneumonia can be dangerous as it makes your body difficult to get enough oxygen which can cause cells to not function properly.
Common signs and symptoms of bacterial pneumonia
- A cough accompanied by dense yellowish, greenish, or blood-streaked mucus
- Chest pain that is aggravated when coughing or breathing
- Sudden chills that causes you to shake
- A fever with temperatures ranging from 102-105°F (38.88-40.55°C)
Other symptoms may also follow such as:
- A headache
- Muscle pain
- Breathlessness or rapid breathing
- Severe fatigue
- Moist, pale skin
- Loss of appetite
The same signs and symptoms can appear in children but are more dangerous in the case of infants and children. They may also exhibit bluish lips or nails which is a dangerous symptom of not getting enough oxygen.
Bacterial pneumonia is caused by a certain bacterium or any other kind of bacteria that enter the lungs and multiplies causing an infection. This process can occur on its own or can develop with another illness such as flu or cold.
The risk of pneumonia is increased if the following are present:
- Weakened immune system
- Respiratory diseases
- People who are recovering from surgery
- Work environments that are polluted
- People who work or live in a hospital setting
- Viral respiratory infections
- Chronic lung diseases
Management of bacterial pneumonia
Bacterial pneumonia can be treated at home with medications to help prevent complications from a hospital setting. A healthy person usually recovers within a week to three weeks but persons with weakened immune systems may take longer to recover.