Pneumonia used to be one of the most dreaded disease known. Though it is still a serious illness, it is rarely fatal except in those with severely weakened immune systems.
It involves inflammation and infection of the lung tissue resulting in fluid filling the tiny air sacs.
Pneumonia usually begins with a respiratory infection from a flu or cold. It can progress quickly or gradually. It generally causes a fever, headache, malaise, chills, cough rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, sweating and chest pains. The cough is usually not productive until the later stages of the disease. There may be a bluish-tinge to the skin.
A virus infection may progress to a bacterial infection if it is left untreated. Bacterial pneumonia comes on suddenly often following another illness. It can be very serious. The child will feel sick, have a high fever, difficulty in breathing, chills, pain, and a cough. Recovery may take two to three weeks. And a cough and fatigue may continue for up to two months.
Pneumonia can be caused by a bacteria, virus, fungi, or mycoplasma. They enter the lungs and cause inflammation. When the epiglottis, which protects the lungs, becomes weakened, as in cases of surgery, loss of consciousness, or seizure, microbes can invade the lungs increasing the risk of infection. A weakened immune system can increase the risk of pneumonia.
Other factors include exposure to smoke, asthma, malnutrition, kidney failure, and respiratory infections. It is a common secondary infection with influenza and AIDS. Viruses known to cause pneumonia are Adenovirus, the Syncytial virus and Coxsackievirus.
Bacterial pneumonia is often caused by Pneumococci, Staphylococci and Chlamydia. If the kidneys and colon are weak, toxins will be eliminated through the lungs causing irritations.
Air pollution can cause respiratory illnesses such as asthma, allergies, bronchitis and pneumonia. It can also cause scarring in the lungs which can leave an individual more susceptible to conditions such as pneumonia.
A child with pneumonia needs extra fluid intake.
This will thin the mucus secretions and encourage a productive cough. Increase moisture by using a cool air humidifier. Do not suppress the cough as it helps bring up the mucus.
A hot water bottle on the chest can help relieve pain.
Rest is necessary to aid in recovery.
Offer the child large amounts of pure water, diluted fruit juice, vegetable juice, vegetable soup, and herbal tea.
Avoid refined sugar, fatty foods, and caffeine.
Avoid dairy products which can increase the production of MUCUS.
Encourage the child to eat natural foods when ready to eat. It won't hurt them to take only liquids for a few days. This can help cleanse the body. The child will usually ask for food when they are ready.
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