What is viral pneumonia?
Viral pneumonia causes a dry cough, fever and other symptoms.
These viruses can transmit through the droplets of fluids in the air that are scattered after an infected person sneezes or coughs. These fluid drops may find their way into your body through your nose or mouth. You may get viral pneumonia after touching infected surfaces such as a doorknob or keyboard and then touching your mouth or nose.
What are the symptoms of viral pneumonia?
You must visit a pulmonologist/doctor soon if you have
What causes viral pneumonia?
There are various viruses that can lead to pneumonia.
- Influenza (flu) A and B viruses are the most common causes of pneumonia in adults.
- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of infection in infants and children.
- Coronaviruses (including SARS-CoV-2) cause COVID-19 infection.
- Rhinovirus, parainfluenza viruses and adenoviruses can cause pink eye.
- Other viruses that cause herpes simplex (herpes simplex virus [HSV]), measles and chickenpox may rarely cause pneumonia.
How will the doctor diagnose my viral pneumonia?
Depending on the severity of your infection, your doctor will diagnose pneumonia.
If you have mild symptoms, your doctor may ask for
- Blood tests
- Chest X-ray
However, in older adults (≥65 years) or children, the doctor may ask to test a throat swab culture. Your doctor may also ask for a test in which a camera is put down in your throat to check the airways.
How will the doctor treat my viral pneumonia?
- In a viral infection, antibiotics won’t help; therefore, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications.
- Plenty of fluids and medicines to bring down fever and chest congestion may be prescribed by your doctor.
- Depending on the microorganism causing the infection, you may receive antivirals such as Tamiflu to stop the spread of flu virus in your body.
- If you have been diagnosed with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) pneumonia, you may receive ribavirin to limit the spread of viruses.
- It is important to get plenty of rest to get over this infection.
- Talk to your doctor before taking cough or cold medicines, especially in the case of children.
- Supplements such as vitamin C, zinc and B vitamins may help speed recovery.
- After treatment, check your lungs to make sure they are all clear.
- In severe cases if you have breathlessness, you may need to be hospitalized for oxygen therapy and intravenous fluid therapy. If it gets worse, you may require a ventilator.
How can I prevent viral pneumonia?
To prevent the transmission of pneumonia, you must
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. In public places, use sanitizers to disinfect your hands before eating anything.
- Get a flu vaccine at the beginning of winter or the rainy season to protect you from certain strains of viruses.
- Keep your distance from people who are sick and who are coughing and sneezing.
- Use a mask to prevent infected droplets from entering your body.
- Do not touch your eyes, ears, nose and mouth when outside.