Pneumonia is a serious infection that restricts oxygen from reaching your blood. Until 1936 when the use of antibiotics brought the disease under control, pneumonia was the number one cause of death in the US. Pneumonia can cause death due to lack of oxygen in the blood and spread of infection.

What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection or inflammation of your lungs in which the air sacs in your lungs fill with puss and other liquid. Oxygen then has trouble reaching your blood that can cause cells to stop functioning properly. If untreated, pneumonia can cause death.


There are over 30 causes for pneumonia, however the most common are bacteria, viruses, mycoplasmas, other infectious agents such as fungi and chemicals.


The symptoms for bacterial, viral and mycoplasm pneumonia vary. The most common symptoms of bacterial pneumonia include shaking chills, chattering teeth, severe chest pain, and a cough that produces rust-colored or greenish mucus. Symptoms of viral pneumonia are initially similar to those of the flu – fever, dry cough, headache, muscle pain and weakness. Within 12-36 hours of the initial symptoms there is increasing breathlessness; the cough becomes worse and produces a small amount of mucus. There is a high fever and there may be blueness of the lips. The symptoms of mycoplasm pneumonia include a cough that comes in violent attacks but only produces a small amount of white mucus; chills and fever; and possible vomiting.


Chances of recovering from pneumonia are especially great if you're young, if your pneumonia is caught early, if your defenses against disease are working well, if the infection hasn't spread and if you're not suffering from other illnesses. Most people can be treated for pneumonia at home with antibiotics. Other treatment options include proper diet and oxygen to increase the oxygen in the blood and medication to ease chest pain.