The Possibility of Contacting Pneumonia through Cold.

in StemSocial2 months ago (edited)

Jos is one of the coldest states in Nigeria, history has it that, the whites love to stay there whenever they come to the country based on the fact that, it feels similar to their country. I was privileged to attend secondary school in this state and I experienced this cold feeling on another level, it was so bad that, if we got hot water to have our bath from the kitchen, it will get cold before we got to the bathroom, it became a norm for most students not to have a bath before going to class, but for me, I cannot step out of my room without having a bath, so I will have my bath with cold water regardless of how cold I feel.

I became really scared however when my close friend lost his elder sister to pneumonia. At the time, our young minds simply believed that pneumonia had to do with the cold so we should avoid situations that would make us get really cold. I couldn't stand having my bath before going to class, but I definitely covered up completely, sometimes wrapping up myself in a duvet before stepping out.

The question is, did my schoolmate and I have the correct narrative about pneumonia, is pneumonia all about the cold? I will be answering these questions and many more in this article, so please keep reading.

Jos is one of the coldest states in Nigeria, history has it that, the whites love to stay there whenever they come to the country based on the fact that, it feels similar to their country. I was privileged to attend secondary school in this state and I experienced this cold feeling on another level, it was so bad that, if we got hot water to have our bath from the kitchen, it will get cold before we got to the bathroom, it became a norm for most students not to have a bath before going to class, but for me, I cannot step out of my room without having a bath, so I will have my bath with cold water regardless of how cold I feel.

I became really scared however when my close friend lost his elder sister to pneumonia. At the time, our young minds simply believed that pneumonia had to do with the cold so we should avoid situations that would make us get really cold. I couldn't stand having my bath before going to class, but I definitely covered up completely, sometimes wrapping up myself in a duvet before stepping out.

The question is, did my schoolmate and I have the correct narrative about pneumonia, is pneumonia all about the cold? I will be answering these questions and many more in this article, so please keep reading.


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Pneumonia is actually an infection.

Pneumonia is an infection that affects one or even both lungs, upon infection, the air sacs of the lungs get filled up with fluid or pus. Pneumonia can be mild or severe, the severity of the infection is highly dependent on the type of germ causing the infection, the age of the infected person, and the overall health condition of that person.

The most common cause of pneumonia is bacteria. In a case when bacteria is the cause of pneumonia, we call it bacterial pneumonia, it could either occur on its own or come up after a certain viral infection like flu or cold.Some bacteria causing pneumonia include; Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae

Viruses that affect the respiratory tract are causative factors for pneumonia. When pneumonia is caused by a virus, it is usually not too serious and it often goes away on its own without any treatment whatsoever within a few weeks, but there are times when it gets pretty serious too that you may have to get to the hospital. Viruses causing pneumonia are; Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), common cold and flu virus, and SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19.

Fungi could also cause pneumonia, but it is more common in people who have chronic health issues or people whose immune systems are weak. cryptococcus, Pneumocystis pneumonia(PCP), Coccidioidomycosis, Histoplasmosis1

Pneumonia can also be gotten in the hospital, it is possibly transmitted to the people receiving hospital treatment for conditions that involve the use of a breathing machine or respirator. 2


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In order to diagnose pneumonia, a physical exercise is done, an x-ray is also used to carry out a physical examination, and tests are done in order to figure out the type of germs causing the infection as well as the severity of the infection. Just like other infections, early treatment is advisable as soon as the infection is detected.

The symptoms of pneumonia could be likened to the symptoms of flu and cough, but they actually last longer.

  • Experienced chest pain while breathing or coughing.

  • Fatigue.

  • Fever and sweating.

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Loss of appetite.

  • Vomiting, diarrhea, and even nausea.

  • Cough that produces colored phlegm like green, yellow and
    sometimes even bloody.

  • Confusion, but this is only common amongst older adults. 3,2

The treatment of pneumonia is dependent on the causative organism and the associated contributive factors to the infection. It is often treated with antibiotic drugs.


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If it is virus-induced pneumonia, it can be treated with antiviral medications and if it is fungal pneumonia, then it would be treated with antifungal medications. 1.

Pneumonia in children.

Usually, a baby's immune system will protect them from developing pneumonia, the pneumonia that children have are usually viral based. Symptoms of pneumonia in children could be;

  • Frequent coughing.
  • Irritability.
  • Dehydration.
  • Difficulty while breathing.
  • Reduced feeding habit.
  • Fever.

Treatment of pneumonia in children is actually less complete than we have in adults because in most cases, kids diagnosed with pneumonia are advised to have plenty of rest, and normalize the intake of fluid, sometimes, medical experts could recommend OTC medications to help reduce the symptoms felt.
Adults should never smoke around children, particularly not when the child has pneumonia. 4

Those with a higher chance of developing pneumonia are;

Children who are under 5 years of age and those above 65 years.
Those who smoke tobacco or even consume high levels of alcohol.

People with weak or impaired immune systems, an impaired immune system could be from certain health conditions; Diabetes, AIDS, HIV, and Cancer.

Malnutrition.

Those with conditions that primarily affect the kidney, heart, and liver.

After cold and flu, pneumonia could come up as a secondary bacterial infection but ordinarily, a common cold would not turn into pneumonia 5

While pneumonia may seem like something very easy to treat, the possibility of having a complicated case is actually really possible as well.

Having pneumonia with an underlying lung disease that affects your breathing could result in a serious health case where you may be hospitalized and start using a ventilator until your lungs heal.

If pus forms in the cavity of the lung, it is called a lung abscess. In some cases, an abscess is treated with antibiotics and in other cases, it is treated with surgery.

If pneumonia is caused by bacteria, it could enter the bloodstream from the lungs, this way spreading the infection to other organs which could possibly cause organ failure on a large scale.

Pneumonia may cause fluid to build up in the thin space available between layers of tissues. These layers of tissues lines the lungs and chest cavity, in a case where the fluid gets infected, it may need to be drained through a chest tube or removed through surgery.

Pneumonia can be prevented.

When it comes to infection, we can either contribute to their presence in our systems or try to reduce their presence.
The practice of good hygiene would help protect the body from respiratory infections that may lead to pneumonia later on. Properly washing the hands and sanitizing with alcohol-based hand sanitizer would do a lot of good.

Getting sufficient sleep, eating healthy and a proper exercise routine will help keep the immune system strong and help fight against every form of infection.

Getting children vaccinated will reduce the possibility of children having pneumonia.

Adult vaccination would also help reduce certain types of pneumonia and flu. Medical experts would recommend the right type of vaccination to take. 5

Conclusion.

Apparently, my friend and I were wrong to think that we may actually have pneumonia because of how cold the environment was, his late sister probably passed because she had some complicated situation with her pneumonia.

References.

https://medlineplus.gov/pneumonia.html

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/151632#types

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pneumonia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354204

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/151632#causes

https://www.mana.md/can-a-cold-or-flu-cause-pneumonia/#:~:text=Symptoms%20of%20pneumonia%20can%20vary,that%20won't%20go%20away.

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Hi, I am Tobi a writer, speaker, relationship blogger, and lover of good music. I love making friends and learning from people. Want to hear me speak on relationships and general life issues, you can find my podcast channel Here and I also have a youtube channel where you can listen and watch any episode for free, do not forget to subscribe and share with friends. I sincerely appreciate every love I get from members of the community and do well to keep them coming.

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Nice article @oluwatobiloba
I used to think the same too. Thank God for education. Pneumonia is basically gotten from the inhalation of foreign particles from the atmosphere. It has nothing to do with cold. Your picture is beautiful by the way😊

Thanks a lot @silviafx

You are welcome

Nice one. This belief of cold causing pneumonia is a popular belief in this part of the world. I remember as children that my mum usually warned us not to play in the rain to avoid cold and pneumonia. I don't know how they got that etiology but I held on to that belief up till about my 5th year in medical training before I now got the right information about pneumonia.
Thanks alot for this wonderful piece.

Very funny, we have so many wrong myths we hold dearly over here.

Exactly 💯

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