Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that affects the lungs. It can be caused by a variety of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The infection causes inflammation of the air sacs in the lungs, known as alveoli, and can lead to symptoms such as cough, fever, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
Bacterial pneumonia is usually treated with antibiotics, such as β-lactam antibiotics, macrolides, tetracyclines, or fluoroquinolones. The choice of antibiotic depends on the type of bacteria causing the infection and its sensitivity to different antibiotics. Viral pneumonia, on the other hand, is usually treated with antiviral medications, although supportive care, such as oxygen therapy, may also be required.
Prevention of pneumonia involves good hygiene practices, such as frequent hand washing, avoiding contact with people who are sick, and staying up-to-date with vaccinations, such as the pneumococcal vaccine and the influenza vaccine. It is also important to manage underlying conditions, such as asthma or COPD, that can increase the risk of developing pneumonia.