Pneumonia is a common illness that is one of the leading causes of death for young, old and chronically ill people. Common symptoms of pneumonia are cough, chest pain, fever (high temperature) and a difficulty breathing. It is hard to breath as your lungs become inflamed. But how can you catch pneumonia? Is pneumonia contagious? This post will answer those questions!
Is Pneumonia Contagious?
Yes, pneumonia is contagious. Some people contract pneumonia after inhaling a virus or bacteria. These organisms are put in the air by people with the illness sneezing and coughing. If you inhale the organism, it is possible you will contract pneumonia. If you have been ill, especially with a cold or flu, you may contract pneumonia as a secondary infection without being exposed to other infectious organisms. However, you can contract pneumonia from these infectious organisms even if you have been perfectly healthy.
How likely am I to get pneumonia?
If you are currently healthy, it is actually quite unlikely. Very few people get pneumonia from inhaling infectious viruses or bacteria. Most cases of pneumonia occur after a person gets a cold or flu and they develop pneumonia as a secondary infection. This depends on their overall health and the state of their lungs.
How can I avoid infection?
There are a couple of great tips to avoid catching pneumonia. Firstly, you can get a vaccination against the disease. This is generally given to people over 55 and newborn children (under 2 years) as well as those who have poor immune systems or have chronic illnesses. Secondly, if you are around people with pneumonia make sure to wash your hands (preferably with anti-bacterial soap) to avoid infection.
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