(Congestion of the Lungs)

Etiology: Inflammation of the lungs caused primarily by bacteria, viruses, and chemical irritants. There are more than 50 causes. The tiny air sacs in the lung area become inflamed and fill with mucus and pus. It is unlikely to be contagious.

SYMPTOMS: Pneumonia caused by pneumococci, staphylococci, streptococci, or bacilli often begins suddenly. Chills, high fever, pain in the chest, cough, muscle aches, fatigue, sore throat, enlarged lymph glands in the neck, bluish nails (cyanosis), rapid, difficult breathing, purulent and often bloody sputum. Mortality is high unless treated with an appropriate antibiotic. See your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Some contributing factors are the common cold, influenza, seizure or stroke, aspiration under anesthesia, alcoholism, smoking, kidney failure, sickle cell disease, malnutrition, foreign bodies in the respiratory passages, even allergies.

Vitamin A is necessary for maintaining the health of the lining of the respiratory passages. A deficiency increases susceptibility to respiratory infections, which may lead to pneumonia.

Weakness will remain for 4-8 weeks after recovery. Diagnosis is by x-ray.