Friday, September 26, 2014

Fit, young...Pneumonia??

Once thought to be something that only struck down the very old & the very young, we are seeing more and more fit, healthy, young people being diagnosed pneumonia.

I myself had it in November last year. Prior to that both my boys had it together in April of 2011. Both chronic asthmatics, it was not fun at all.  My youngest sons chest was described as listening to a 'train wreck'. But for our family it started long before that.  In 2010 my then youngest Miss Maggs had pneumonia at 10 months old & she later passed it onto her dad, my husband. He was very very unwell.  Largely because the first time he attended the hospital he was sent away with a Ventolin inhaler & told he was asthmatic....he's not....2 days later, during which time he barely moved off the couch, moaned constantly during his fitful sleeps & could make crackling & popping noises (like popping candy) simply by opening his mouth, I sent him back to the hospital with firm instructions not to come back without antibiotics. He had bilateral pneumonia. Not long after my next youngest daughter caught it as well, and quite randomly, my SIL who lives over 500kms away from us, caught it also!

Upon hearing a friend has now caught pneumonia my husband told me his surprise that a man at work continued to attend every day with the same sickness....because he said it wasn't contagious...

It is is....although some people may dispute it the fact is a minor technicality. Semantics if you will. Pneumonia itself is not contagious, but the BUG or bacteria that causes it is!  For example if you have a strain of the flu, you can pass that flu onto others which in turn can give them pneumonia.

This is from a UK NHS website, the original page can be found here.

Catching pneumonia

The germs that can cause pneumonia are usually breathed in. People often have small amounts of germs in their nose and throat that can be passed on through:
  • coughs and sneezes – these launch tiny droplets of fluid containing germs into the air, which someone else can breathe in  
  • touching an object and transferring germs onto it – someone else can touch this object, and then touch their own mouth or nose

My husband caught it from our baby, simply by continuing to kiss & cuddle & comfort her when she was unwell. :-/

There are some situations where a person will not have caught pneumonia from another person. For example Aspiration Pneumonia. This is where a person has breathed in a foreign object including food or even smoke.  Aspiration Pneumonia is very common with the sick or elderly as food can be inhaled while they are eating, particularly if they're eating in a laid back position. You know when food goes down the wrong hole because you're trying to talk/cough/laugh at the same time? Yeah like that. If breathing in an object leads to a bacterial infection, THIS is then contagious.

Do some reading yourself and you'll discover it's a lot more common than you may think it is.

And it knocks you around for a long time afterwards. A very tiring illness.

If you know someone who is sick with pneumonia, bring them some chicken soup by all means, but leave quickly & Aquim up to your elbows after you visit them! ;-)

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