Viral pneumonia – or community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) – is more likely to affect children than bacterial pneumonia. A study showed that 73 percent of pneumonia cases in children are viral and only 15 percent tend to be bacterial.
Common pathogens found were respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human rhinovirus, human metapneumovirus (HMPV), adenovirus, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, parainfluenza virus and influenza virus, coronavirus, Streptococcus pneumonia and Staphylococcus aureus, and S. pyogenes.
Additionally, majority of the community-acquired pneumonia cases were seen in children under the age of two, with cases dropping after that age mark.
Seema Jain from the CDC said, “The low prevalence of detection of bacterial pathogens probably reflects both the effectiveness of bacterial conjugate vaccines and relatively insensitive diagnostic tests.”
As part of the CDC’s Etiology of Pneumonia in the Community (EPIC) study, screenings for pediatric CAP were performed from 2010 to 2012 at three children’s hospitals: Le Bonheur Children’s in Memphis, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, and Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Blood samples were taken when pneumonia was suspected along with nasal swabs, pleural fluid, endotracheal aspirates, bronchoalveolar-lavage specimens, paired serum specimens, and chest radiographs. Out of 127,556 screened children, 2,358 children with X-ray confirmed evidence of pneumonia were enrolled in the study.
Asthma or reactive airway diseases were found to be the underlying condition in 51 percent of cases. Bacterial or viral infections were found in 81 percent of children, and children under the age of five were more likely to have RSV.
Viral pneumonia treatment and prevention
Unlike bacterial pneumonia, viral pneumonia cannot be treated with antibiotics, as they are not effective at treating viruses. Treating viral pneumonia is similar to treating the flu with plenty of rest, hydration, and over-the-counter medications to ease symptoms. Other treatments may include corticosteroid medication, oxygen, and the use of a humidifier.
Other prevention tips of viral pneumonia is frequent hand-washing, avoiding those who are sick, and not smoking.
If you ever wondered whether pneumonia is contagious, we are here to address your concerns. First of all, pneumonia is inflammation of the lung tissue, caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungus. In pneumonia, the air sacs become filled with pus. What part of the lung is affected and whether it is a single lung or both determines what kind of pneumonia it is – we will explain the types of pneumonia later on. Continue reading…
Bacterial pneumonia risk in HIV patients is seen to be reduced by quitting smoking. Bacterial pneumonia is a common condition, which affects HIV patients, and among those who smoke, the risk of developing bacterial pneumonia is doubled. Continue reading…