Pneumonia is a respiratory ailment that is characterized by inflammation or infection of the lungs that is caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc. The following article provides information on bacterial pneumonia in children.
Bacterial pneumonia is characterized by the inflammation of the lungs, which occurs as a result of an infection due to bacteria. This condition can affect people of all age groups. Since the causal organism is a bacterium, the treatment involves antibiotic therapy. Certain strains of bacteria seem to have developed a resistance against antibiotics, which is why it’s best to take preventive measures.
The infection could be caused by different strains of bacteria. It could be community-acquired or hospital-acquired. The former type is mostly caused by the strains such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Legionella pneumophila, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Apart from these, the bacterium Chlamydophila pneumoniae is also associated with the infection.
The community-acquired infections are usually caused by gram-negative bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, and the Streptococcus species. Other causal gram-negative bacteria include Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter species, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter species.
Symptoms may vary from child to child. The symptoms that can be observed in most cases include:
- Coughing out green or yellow phlegm
- Muscle ache
- Breathing difficulty
- Fever (greater than 100.5ºF or 38ºC)
- Strep throat
Parents must be aware of the fact that this condition is more severe in infants and newborns. They may not show any signs or symptoms such as the ones mentioned above. All they may have is a fever or a cough, or in some cases, stomach pain, which they may exhibit through constant crying.
The treatment focuses on eliminating the infection through antibiotic therapy. The presence of another medical condition is another factor that might be taken into consideration. Antibiotics would be prescribed for dealing with the infection. Even if the child starts feeling better after a few days of taking the medications, parents must ensure that the entire course of medicine is completed. Otherwise, there are chances that the infection may recur. Also, stopping the medication half-way may give rise to the development of strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.
Parents must ensure that their children get their required shots of pneumonia vaccine. Also, children must be educated about the importance of practicing healthy personal hygiene to prevent the infection from spreading to others.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.