Hospitals are the places for curing the diseases of the patients; however patients may also get certain disease from hospitals. A Hospital-acquired pneumonia is one such infection that gets transmitted to the hospitalized patients after about 2 days or more of hospitalization.

In case of Institution-acquired pneumonia, people in close contact with the nursing homes or hospital facilities; get infected with pneumonia.

A Hospital-acquired pneumonia is more severe than Institution-acquired pneumonia because the infectious agents in the former are harder to treat. Another reason is that hospitalised patients have are already sick and have weakened immune system.

Moreover, the types of infectious agents present in a hospital are more lethal than those present in the community.

Causes of HAP/IAP

HAP/IAP is caused by wide variety of infectious agents including Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi, parasites, etc. The infection may vary from mild to life-threatening.

Common Bacteria: Streptococcus pneumonia, anaerobic organisms, Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Common Viruses: Rhinoviruses, Coronaviruses, Influenza virus, Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Adenovirus

Common parasites: Toxoplasma gondii, Strongyloides stercoralis

Common Fungi: Histoplasma capsulatum, blastomyces, Cryptococcus Neoformans

Risk Factors of HAP/IAP

Risk factors for HAP/IAP comprises of the following.

                    Individuals working on ventilator   

                    Alcoholism

                    Being on a breathing machine

                    Breathing saliva

                    Taking food into the lungs (aspiration)

                    Chest surgery

                    Immuno-suppression    

                    Long-term (chronic) lung disease

                    Not being fully alert

                    Older age

                    Recent illness

Symptoms of HAP/IAP

Common Symptoms

                    Cold and Cough

                    Fever

                    Shaking chills

                    Difficulty in breathing

                    Severe Chest Pain

                    Clammy skin due to excessive sweating

                    Weakness and fatigue

                    State of Confusion in elderly people

                    Loss of appetite

                    Headache

Diagnostic Tests

HAP/IAP can be diagnosed by conducting the following tests.

                    Physical examination to detect the presence of crackles, decreased oxygen and respiratory distress

                    Chest x-ray or CT scan

                    Arterial blood gases

                    Complete blood count (CBC)

                    Sputum culture

                    Sputum gram stain

                    Blood cultures

Treatment for HAP/IAP

The treatment of HAP/IAP depends on the infectious agent responsible for the infection. Depending on the severity of the infection, the treatment can be done at home or hospital.

                    Bacteria (gram negative, s.pneumoniae) are treated with intravenous antibiotics after they are identified using sputum culture.

                    Atypical Bacteria are treated with different set of antibiotics

                    Viral Pneumonia is treated with set of anti-virals

                    Severely ill patients are placed in intensive care unit and put on a ventilator

                    Supplemental oxygen for loosening and expelling thick mucus from the lungs

                    Intravenous fluids for preventing dehydration is given patients in hospitals

                    Use of humidified air helps in loosening the mucus

                    Patient may take aspirin, NSAIDs, for controlling fever. However, Aspirin should not be given to children.

                    Patient is advised to take plenty of rest.

                    Chest therapy is used for loosening the mucus so that it can be expelled out by deep coughing.

Complications

The complications of the HAP/IAP pneumonia may lead to serious health conditions.

                    Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)

                    Lung abscess

                    Bacteraemia

                    Septicaemia

                    Low blood pressure

You might have heard cases of persons who died because of the pneumonia complications. Pneumonia is considered as a killer disease worldwide that can affect anyone. Thus, we should know about the various complications associated with Pneumonia that can lead to fatal conditions.

Let’s briefly discuss the common complications of pneumonia.

Abscesses: The abscesses are pus filled cavities that are formed due to damaged lung tissues. In severe untreated cases, they can lead to haemorrhage (bleeding) in the lungs. Abscesses are treated by using antibiotics.

It occurs due to aspiration pneumonia caused by various micro organisms that infect the lungs such as Staphylococcus Aureus or Klebsiella pneumonia. The abscesses caused by Streptococcus pneumonia are uncommon.

Respiratory Failure: It refers to the failure of the respiratory system in individuals infected with pneumococcal pneumonia. It is a fatal condition that poses great risk to patient’s life.

It includes the following conditions

                    ARDS (Acute respiratory distress syndrome) involves severe reduction in Oxygen levels due to compromised lung functions. It is a major cause of death in many patients.

                    Ventilatory failure involves mechanical changes in the lungs due to pneumonia

                    Hypoxemic respiratory failure involves loss of oxygen in the arteries.

 

Bacteraemia: This condition is characterised by the presence of bacteria in blood. It occurs due to infection caused by pneumococcus and other gram-negative organisms like Haemophilus influenza.

Pleural Effusion: In this condition the space present between the lung and chest walls witness the build up of fluid. Generally, the lungs are covered by visceral pleura and chest walls are covered by parietal pleura.

This build-up of the fluid between the pleural membranes results in breathlessness and sharp chest pain while inhaling.

Empyema: In this condition, the pus gets accumulated in region between the lung and chest wall.

Collapsed Lung: It is characterised by the accumulation of air in the space between the pleural membranes. It is a fatal condition that can arrest the functioning of the lungs.

It occurs due to the infection from Streptococcus pneumonia or as a complication of invasive procedures used for the treatment of pleural effusion.

Abscesses in the brain/other organs: In some cases, the infection present in the lungs get spread to the heart and eventually reached to various organs of the body via bloodstream. In severe cases, it results in abscesses in the brain and other organs.

Severe Haemoptysis (Coughing up blood): It is a potentially fatal complication of pneumonia that is more commonly found in patients with associated lung problems like cystic fibrosis.

Other Complications of Pneumonia

The other complications of Pneumonia result from the spread of infection to the various parts of the body.

                    Secondary bacterial lung infection

                    Infections of the digestive system

                    Septicemia characterised by presence of bacteria in various body organs

                    Meningitis (swelling of the spinal cord covering)

                    Septic Arthritis (infection of a joint due to spread of bacteria via the bloodstream)

                    Endocarditis (infection of the heart muscle) 

                    Pericarditis (infection of the sac surrounding the heart)

Children are vulnerable to pneumonia infection caused by wide range of infectious agents. Bacteria are the most common infectious agent and one such bacterium that causes pneumonia in children is Chlamydia Pneumoniae.

Role of Chlamydial organisms in Pneumonia

Chlamydial organisms are gram-negative and obligate intracellular organisms. There are basically three species of chlamydial organisms that cause pneumonia in humans.

                    Chlamydophila pneumonia is responsible for causing bronchitis or mild pneumonia in children and young adults. When they infect older adults, they cause more severe form of pneumonia.

                    Chlamydophila psittaci is transmitted by the birds and patient gets ornithosis on exposure to infected birds. The symptoms of the C psittaci infection vary from fulminant toxic syndrome to asymptomatic infection. Patients infected with ornithosis usually have developed pneumonia or pyrexia of unknown origin.

                    Chlamydia trachomatis is known for causing STD (sexually transmitted disease) in human beings including pelvic inflammatory disease, trachoma and cervicitis. However, C trachomatis is also responsible for causing pneumonia in infants, young children, and immunocompromised adults.

How Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infections are transmitted?

The modes of transmission of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infections are similar to the ways, other respiratory diseases are transmitted.

                    Transmitted directly from person to person via coughing or sneezing

                    Transmitted indirectly from germs on hands or other objects

                    School going Children between 5 and 15 years of age are more susceptible to get infection

Symptoms of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection

The symptoms of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection develop gradually over a period of time. An infected patient may experience sore throat in the beginning which later develops into cough.

Common Symptoms of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection

                    Prolonged cough that may last for 2 to 6 weeks

                    Bronchitis

                    Pneumonia

                    Sore throat

                    Laryngitis

                    Ear infections

                    Sinusitis

The symptoms usually range from mild symptoms to no symptoms in some infected children. There are chances that symptoms may develop into bronchitis or a mild case of pneumonia.

Diagnosis of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection

The doctor will ask various questions to the patient to study signs and symptoms of Pneumonia. He/she may suggest various diagnostic tests for detecting the Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection in patients.

Physical Exam

The doctor will use the stethoscope for performing the physical exam of the lungs.

The individuals infected with pneumonia will produce crackling, wheezing and rumbling sounds in the lungs during inhalation. The absence of regular sounds in cheat areas may point to the infection caused by pneumonia.

Laboratory Tests

After the physical examination, the doctor may ask the patient to conduct certain laboratory tests. These are done for confirming the presence of pneumonia infection.

                    Blood tests for detecting presence of antibodies to the bacteria. It takes at least a week before such antibodies show up in the blood.

                    Swab specimens are taken either from nose or throat for evaluation

Treatment of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection

The treatment of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection takes time and patient may takes weeks for complete recovery.

Treatment therapy for Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection involves the following.

                    Intravenous antibiotics like erythromycin or tetracycline for severe cases.

                    Patients with uncomplicated pneumonia require only 2 or 3 days of intravenous antibiotics. They are shifted to oral therapy afterwards

                    Patient is asked to drink plenty of fluids including juices, water, tea, lemonade, etc.

                    Oxygen is usually used in hospitalised patient with breathing problems

                    Use of humidified air helps in loosening the mucus

                    Patient may take aspirin, NSAIDs, for controlling fever. However, Aspirin should not be given to children.

                    Patient is advised to take plenty of rest.

                    Chest therapy is used for loosening the mucus so that it can be expelled out by deep coughing.

Prevention of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection

The Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection in children can be prevented by maintaining cleanliness and infection free environment.

                    Practicing good hygiene

                    Frequent hand washing

                    Avoiding contact with infected people

 

A chest X-ray is one of the simplest tests to be performed. It is not only painless but also non invasive. Your doctor will recommend chest X-ray to get detailed images of internal structures such as lungs, heart and blood vessels.

A chest X-ray assists in the diagnosis of conditions like pneumonia, chronic cough, chest pain,

shortness of breath, etc.

Preparation for Chest X Ray

You may follow the below mentioned points in order to prepare for Chest X ray.

                     Wear loose clothes like T-Shirt that can be easily taken off as you will be asked to undress from the waist up and wear a gown.

                     Avoid wearing metallic objects such as jewellery, eye glasses, belts, etc; while going for the chest X-ray. It is required so that there is no interference between metals and X-ray Image.

                     Inform the X-ray technician about any body piercings done by you on your chest.

                     Inform the doctor if you are pregnant as X ray test are usually avoided during pregnancy.

Chest X Ray Procedure

A Chest X ray procedure is performed by an X-ray technician and total time duration of the test is usually 15 minutes.

                     You will be taken to the X-ray room, and asked to undress from the waist up and wear gown.

                     You may be asked to stand, sit, or lie for the chest x ray as directed by your doctor. You need not worry as the technician will assist in maintaining correct position.

                     You will be covered with heavy lead apron for protecting your other body parts from radiation.

                     The X-ray technician will operate the X-ray machine and takes two view of the chest including back view and side view.

                     Back view: You need to sit or stand for resting your chest against the image plate. The x-ray tube is placed behind you.

                     Side view: You need to stand side ways and keep your arms above your head.

                     In case, you will be asked to lie down, you will need to lie down on table with X-ray tube located over the table.

                     During the procedure of taking X-rays images; you are required to remain still and hold your breath for a few seconds.

                     After the images are taken, they are checked by X-ray technician for their quality. The procedure is repeated if the quality of images is not good enough.

·         After the procedure

                     You may go home after the test and resume your normal activities. A radiologist will analyze the X-rays and prepare a report.

                     You may obtain your reports and show them to your doctor. Your doctor will observe the X-rays images and discuss the results with you.

Risks of Chest X Ray

Although the amount of radiation in Chest X-ray test is very small, it carries few risks.

During the procedure, patient is provided with a lead apron for protecting certain body parts from the harmful effects of radiation.

 

Discovered by Dr. Gary Epler, BOOP is rare lung condition marked by inflammation of the bronchioles, alveoli and surrounding tissue in the lungs.

BOOP is also known as cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP) where bronchioles and alveoli gets infected and plugged with connective tissue.

The clinical features show the results similar to that of infectious pneumonia. Even radiological imaging bears resemblance with pneumonia. The diagnosis of BOOP is done if patient does not response to multiple antibiotics and there are negative results for blood and sputum cultures.

 Causes of BOOP

BOOP may be triggered by infections from variety of agents including bacteria, viruses and parasites, drugs, or toxic fumes.

                    Pre-existing chronic inflammatory disease such as Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, etc.

                    Side effect of certain medicinal drugs such as amiodarone

Signs and symptoms of BOOP

BOOP/COP may not produce any signs or symptoms in some cases. However, a persistent non productive cough and shortness of breath are the two most common symptoms in people who have BOOP.

Other Symptoms may include the following.

   

                    Dyspnoea

                    Mild resting hypoxemia

                    Symptoms of influenza

                    Exertion resulting in shortness of breath

                    febrile illness

                    Extensive crackles

Diagnosis of BOOP

As discussed briefly in the opening paragraphs, the clinical features and radiological imaging

of BOOP are similar to that of infectious pneumonia.  Before a patient visit the doctor, he/she already had the symptoms for less than two months.

Some patients can be diagnosed by presence of various symptoms like cough, fever, illness, fatigue, and reduction in weight.

                    The clinical examination of BOOP patient shows widespread crackles and some patients may also have clubbing.

                    The laboratory results are not specific with absence of any explicit abnormalities on routine physical examination or lab tests.

                    Doctors can detect the presence of crackling sounds with a stethoscope.

                    Pulmonary function tests determine the presence of below normal level of air in the lungs and less amount of oxygen in the blood at rest and exercise.

                    Plain chest radiography reveal about lung volumes to detect presence of any abnormal structures.

                    Chest x-ray shows features similar to that of extensive pneumonia. The widespread white patches with both lungs appear to migrate from one region of the lung to another with progress of the disease.

                    Computed Tomography (CT) is a confirmatory diagnostic test for BOOP that does away with need to conduct any other additional tests.

                    Lung biopsy by using a bronchoscope is also recommended by doctors to confirm the presence of BOOP.

Treatment of BOOP

The treatment for BOOP involves corticosteroid therapy where patient is administered with gradual variation in doses over a period of 24 weeks. It results in consistent outcome without any reduction in the corticosteroid exposure.

Patient is administered with high dosage of 50 mg per day in the beginning and it eventually reduces to zero over a period of six-month to one-year. Commonly used steroids are prednisolone and prednisone.

Care has to taken to avoid stopping steroid treatment rapidly as it may cause disease to return.

Doctors recommend other drugs along with steroids to take care of the side effects of the steroid.

Pneumonia is the inflammation in the lungs that is primarily caused by infections due to micro organisms like bacteria, virus and fungi. Additionally, the pneumonia can be caused by parasites and idiopathic reasons.

The bacteria and viruses are the most common infectious agent followed by fungi and parasites. In some cases, the mixed infections involving both viruses and bacteria may occur.

How infectious agents are transmitted to body?

The infectious agents of Pneumonia such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, etc; are transmitted to human body through various ways.

                    There is presence of Bacteria and viruses in our nose, sinuses, and mouth and these can get spread to the lungs in certain circumstances.

                    The germs are present in the air and these can get through the immune system present in our respiratory system to reach directly into the lungs during inhalation.

                    The germs can also be transferred through food or fluids from the mouth into the lungs.

Let’s discuss briefly about common infectious agents of Pneumonia.

Bacteria

Bacteria are the most common cause of Pneumonia. They normally affect the adult population.

The different strains of bacteria are associated with various risk factors.

                    Alcoholism: Streptococcus pneumoniae, anaerobic organisms, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

                    Smoking: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Legionella pneumophila

                    Exposure to birds: Chlamydia psittaci

                    Exposure to farm animals: Coxiella burnetti

                    Aspiration of stomach contents: Anaerobes

                    Cystic fibrosis: Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus

Viruses

After Bacteria, Viruses account for majority of the cases of Pneumonia especially in adults. As per the estimates, viruses are responsible for one third of Pneumonia cases.

Common Viruses that cause Pneumonia are as follows:

                    Rhinoviruses, Coronaviruses, Influenza virus

                    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Adenovirus

                    Parainfluenza, Herpes simplex virus (causes Pneumonia in newborns)

                    Cytomegalovirus (CMV) (Causes Pneumonia in patients with weakened immune systems)

Fungi

The pneumonia caused by fungi may occur in persons that have weakened immune systems. The fungal pneumonia has similar pathophysiology as that of bacterial pneumonia.

The immune system of the individuals might get weak due to various reasons including immunosuppressive drugs, AIDS or any other medical diseases. Thus, they become susceptible to fungal infection leading to Pneumonia.

Common Fungi that cause Pneumonia are as follows:

                    Histoplasma capsulatum, blastomyces

                    Cryptococcus neoformans

                    Pneumocystis jiroveci

                    Coccidioides immitis

Parasites

The parasites infect the human body through the skin or the mouth. They reach the lungs via bloodstream; cause cell damage and triggers immune response leading to pneumonia. The response of eosinophils to the parasite infection in the lungs results in eosinophilic pneumonia.

Common parasites that cause Pneumonia are as follows:

                    Toxoplasma gondii

                    Strongyloides stercoralis

                    Ascariasis

Idiopathic interstitial pneumonia

Apart from infectious pneumonia causes by Bacteria, Fungi, Virus and Parasites; there are certain causes of pneumonia that are idiopathic in nature and belongs to diffuse lung diseases.

Common lung diseases that cause Idiopathic interstitial pneumonia are as follows:

                    diffuse alveolar damage, lymphocytic interstitial pneumonia

                    organizing pneumonia, desquamative interstitial pneumonia

                    nonspecific interstitial pneumonia, interstitial pneumonia

                    respiratory bronchiolitis interstitial lung disease

Bacteria are the leading infectious agents that cause infection in lungs resulting in Pneumonia. Bacteria along with Viruses are regarded as the major infectious agent for Pneumonia in human beings. As the name suggests, infection in the lungs caused by Bacteria is called as Bacterial Pneumonia.

The classification of pneumonia on the basis of causative agent is done because the treatment depends on the underlying infectious agent that has caused the infection. Thus, bacterial Pneumonia is treated differently than Viral Pneumonia.

How Bacterial Pneumonia occurs

Bacteria reach the lungs of the patient through inhaled air via nose or through the bloodstream from other infected parts of the body. Bacteria are usually present in upper respiratory tract, however once they enter the alveoli; they reach the spaces between the cells of the lungs.

The immune system of body reacts to the presence of bacteria in the lungs by triggering the onset of WBC (lymphocytes). These WBCs eventually leads to the fluid leakage in the alveoli that causes

impaired oxygen transportation.

Moreover, the bacteria travel to other parts of the body from the lungs via bloodstream resulting in damage to various parts of the body such as brain, heart, kidney, etc.

Causes of Bacterial Pneumonia

The Bacterial pneumonia is caused by the following bacteria.

• Gram positive Bacteria : Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus

• Gram-negative Bacteria : Haemophilus influenzae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Moraxella catarrhalis

• Atypical Bacteria: Coxiella burnetii, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Legionella pneumophila.

Symptoms of Bacterial Pneumonia

Depending on the type of bacteria, doctors usually classify the symptoms of the bacteria into Typical Pneumonia Symptoms and Atypical Pneumonia Symptoms.

Symptoms of Typical Pneumonia

• High fever

• Shaking chills

• Production of yellow or brown sputum

• Chest pain that get worsened with breathing or coughing

• Shortness of breath

• Confusion in older people

Symptoms of Atypical Pneumonia

The symptoms of typical pneumonia usually onset slowly and may follows after other illness. The patient has the infection but he/she does not appear to be ill. That’s why it is also called as walking pneumonia.

• Low fever

• Less chances of shaking chills

• Headache

• Body aches

• Joint pain

• Dry Cough or cough with little sputum

• Abdominal pain in some cases

• Feeling weak

Treatment of Bacterial Pneumonia

The treatment of Bacterial Pneumonia is done with antibiotics. The treatment can be done either at home or at hospital in severe cases.

Treatment therapy for Bacterial Pneumonia involves the following.

• Intravenous antibiotics for 5 – 8 days for severe cases.

• Patients with uncomplicated pneumonia require only 2 or 3 days of intravenous antibiotics. They are shifted to oral therapy afterwards

• Patient is asked to drink plenty of fluids including juices, water, tea, lemonade, etc.

• Oxygen is usually used in hospitalised patient with breathing problems

• Use of humidified air helps in loosening the mucus

• Patient may take aspirin, NSAIDs, for controlling fever. However, Aspirin should not be given to children.

• Patient is advised to take plenty of rest.

• Chest therapy is used for loosening the mucus so that it can be expelled out by deep coughing.

Breathing in foreign material (Infectious agents) from the immediate surroundings is a common way of getting infection. The infectious agents eventually enter the lungs and its airways through the respiratory tract.

The inflammation of the lungs caused by infectious agents inhaled during breathing is called as Aspiration pneumonia. The source of infectious agents may include food items, liquids, fluids present in the mouth or even vomit.

A chemical pneumonitis is developed due to the acidity of oral or gastric aspirate. The inflammation is further enhanced by activities of bacterial pathogens.

Once the infectious agent reaches the lungs, it may lead to following conditions.

• Lung Abscess (Collection of pus in the lungs)

• Swelling

• Inflammation in the lung

• (Pneumonia) Infection in the lung

Causes of Aspiration Pneumonia

The causes of Aspiration Pneumonia comprises of various methods that facilitates the entry of infectious agents into the lungs.

• Medicines or due to other illness

• Incompetent swallowing mechanism

• Coma

• Neurological disease like strokes

• Disorders of the oesophagus

• Consuming large quantity of alcohol

• Application of General anaesthesia

The causative agent may be anaerobic bacteria or aerobic bacteria.

Anaerobic oral flora including Bacteroides, Prevotella, Fusobacterium and Peptostreptococcus

Aerobic Bacteria including Streptococcus pneumonia, Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenza and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Risk Factors

• Old age patients

• Individuals with poor gag reflex

• Unconscious or semi-conscious patients after a stroke or brain injury

• Individuals with problems in swallowing

Symptoms

The symptoms of aspiration pneumonia are similar to other types of Pneumonia.

• Cough with sputum

• Sputum with pus or bloody sputum or greenish sputum

• Bluish skin/skin discoloration due to lack of oxygen

• Fever

• Shortness of breath

• Chest pain

• Fatigue

The other associated symptoms of aspiration pneumonia comprises of difficulty in swallowing,

breathe odour and excessive sweating.

Signs and tests

The diagnosis of Aspiration pneumonia is done by taking into consideration the following results.

• Clinical circumstances

• Radiologic findings

• Microbiologic cultures

· Doctors may recommend various tests for diagnosing the presence of aspiration pneumonia.

• Physical examination

• Chest x-ray

• Complete blood count (CBC)

• Sputum culture

• CT scan of the chest

• Bronchoscopy

• Arterial blood gas

• Blood culture

• Swallowing studies

Treatment

The treatment of Aspiration Pneumonia varies depending on the severity of the pneumonia. The antibiotics are prescribed for treating bacteria that had caused the infection.

Patients with complications may need to get hospitalized; otherwise treatment can be done at home. Doctors may prescribe special antibiotics for treating bacteria that resides in the mouth.

Doctors determine the type of pneumonia causing bacteria on the basis of various factors such as

Health of patient, place of patient residence, medical history of patient, recent medications including antibiotics, etc.

Complications

The complications of the aspiration pneumonia comprise of serious health conditions.

• Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)

• Pneumonia

• Lung abscess

• Bacteraemia

• Septicaemia

• Low blood pressure

Why Adenovirus is called as killer cold virus? Let’s find out more about this deadly virus.

Adenoviruses refer to a group of viruses that cause infection in the membranes of the respiratory tract, the intestines, the eyes and the urinary tract.

They are responsible for high prevalence of deaths and hospitalizations of patients affected by it and hence called as “killer cold virus”.         

How Adenovirus is transmitted

The adenoviruses are usually transmitted via aerial route similarly to common cold.

                    Adenoviruses are transmitted from one infected person to other via coughing or sneezing.

                    Individuals may touch any area infected by adenoviruses and then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes.

                    Infected person may sneezes or coughs on various items that may be later touched by other people.

 

Diagnosis of Adenovirus

The initial diagnosis of adenovirus is done by following ways.

                    Medical History of patient

                    Physical exam

                    X-ray of the infected region

                    Association with Ad14-diagnosed patients

 

The confirmative diagnosis is done by isolating the virus the infected patient and carrying the following tests.

                    Antigen detection

                    Polymerase chain reaction assay

                    Virus isolation and serology

                    Adenovirus typing

                    Fluids and PCR tests

 

Symptoms of Adenovirus Infection

The symptoms of adenovirus infection may comprise of following respiratory tract symptoms.

                    Common cold syndrome such as cough, runny nose, mild fever

                    Symptoms of Pneumonia

                    Symptoms of Croup

                    Symptoms of Bronchitis

 

The symptoms are usually present only for three to five days; however in severe cases like Pneumonia patients may require hospitalisation. Also, apart from respiratory tract illness,

Adenoviruses may develop symptoms related to eye, bladder, and GI problems.

Treatment of Adenovirus Infection

The treatment of Adenovirus infection in most of the cases does not require antibiotics or other medications. The patients can get rid of the virus infection over few days. The efforts are made for keeping the patient comfortable during the time the infection lasts.

                    There is no such virus-specific treatment therapy of adenovirus infections.

                    Most of the infections are mild in nature and require only symptomatic treatment.

                    The serious adenovirus illnesses are managed only by treating symptoms of the infection.

                    Treatment may include supportive care, taking proper rest, plenty of fluids.

                    Patients may be given drugs like acetaminophen for reducing fever. Aspirin should not be given to children.

                    For respiratory tract diseases, a cool-mist humidifier assists in loosening mucus and helps in breathing comfortably.

                    For children under the age of six months, a bulb syringe can be applied for clearing the nose.

                    Severe cases need intensive care and respiratory assistance such as mechanical breathing support.

                    Symptoms of conjunctivitis can be relieved by using warm compresses and a topical eye ointment drops.

 

Prevention

                    Maintaining the good hygiene goes a long way in preventing the spread of the infection

                    Effective infection-control practices is needed for preventing adenovirus-associated diseases

                    Maintaining adequate levels of chlorination in swimming pool prevents adenovirus conjunctivitis.