Having pneumonia is sometimes challenging to detect as it has symptoms similar to common cold and flu, such as coughing, sneezing, and hacking. However, there are pneumonia symptoms that can give you warning clues about your health condition. This condition can affect the lungs caused by a virus or bacteria that can cause viral or bacterial pneumonia. The virus or bacterial infection can easily infect people. The harmful pathogen is transferred through inhalation of either airborne or small droplets from coughing, sneezing, or just talking to someone infected by the virus of bacteria. It is helpful to become aware that you can become infected by touching contaminated surfaces or objects.
1. Common Symptoms of Pneumonia
Signs of pneumonia can range from no symptoms, mild to severe cases. The severity of the infection or illness depends on the current health status of an individual. The general symptoms that you need to look out for are:
- Moderate to a high fever that can go up to 150 F
- Deliberating cough with green to bloody red mucous
- Chills that can make involuntary shaking of the body
- Tiredness and difficulty in breathing during slight movements
- Sharp chest pain that you feel when coughing
- Loss of interest or appetite to eat
- Cold sweating
2. Symptoms caused by Virus or Bacteria
Viruses and bacteria are the main culprits in most pneumonia cases, but sometimes parasites and fungi can cause lung conditions. If a bacterium causes it, symptoms can manifest slowly or quickly. There are cases of walking pneumonia. It means that you are asymptomatic or no need for hospitalization. People with no to mild symptoms feel like no difference at all in terms of their health status. However, viruses can cause severe conditions, and you will notice flu-like signs after several days of infection such as fever, dry cough, muscle weakness, and headache.
3. Common Symptoms in Children
Pneumonia in babies and children can be very hard to detect, especially during early stages, as they cannot properly communicate. If you have children at home, you need to keep in mind common signs of pneumonia.
- Rapid breathing- Children may not complain, but once you observe that they rapidly breathe after playing or just doing something, you need to pay attention immediately.
- Fever- Fever is one of the most common pneumonia symptoms, but it can be a triggering factor in seeking doctor’s advice.
- Coughing- Children rarely cough, so it is essential to take them to a specialist when it happens consecutively.
- Wheezing- Medical specialists can detect wheezing sound by making the child pronounced the word “E” in wheezing; it will sound “A.”
- Change in color- If there is a sudden change in the shade of fingernails, lips, and skins to blue, you need to take them to the hospital immediately.
- Loss of appetite- Babies tends to lose their appetite when they are not feeling well.
4. Pneumonia Signs vs. Flu
It can be very tricky as pneumonia symptoms are the same with cold or flu. It can happen once the germ that causes the cold or flu travel to your lungs. At first, you can feel walking pneumonia symptoms that can lead to a severe condition if not treated immediately. Cold and flu signs begin very slowly by just sneezing, and having a runny nose and common cold will not cause fever to a healthy adult. If you have flu, then you will start to feel the following symptoms:
- A fever that is higher than 100 F
- Deliberating headache
- Severe body aches and chest pains
- Extreme feeling of tiredness
- Hacking cough that is dry that usually occurs at night
The recovery period is two to five days, but you might still experience a mild cough or sore throat over two weeks.
5. Signs for a Doctor Call
It is imperative to know the signs of pneumonia that needs medical and professional intervention. You need to immediately seek medical attention if you or your children are experiencing cold and flu that does not go away with rest and self-medication. Suppose symptoms worsen, like difficulty in breathing and extreme loss of appetite. In the case of people with an underlying medical condition that weakened their immune system, there is a need for quick medical attention to avoid complications.