<p><strong>What Is Pneumonia?</strong></p>
<p>Pneumonia is a type of pneumonitis—an inflammation of the lungs that may be caused by the inhalation of irritating gases or particles or by an infection. When the inflammation is caused by an infectious microorganism, the term pneumonia is used.</p>
<p>The lungs have a complex system of defense: frequent branching and narrowing of the bronchial passages make it difficult for invaders to penetrate the lungs deeply; millions of tiny hairs, or cilia, in the bronchial lining constantly sweep particles out of the airways; the cough reflex forces irritating substances out of the lungs at high speed; and white blood cells, known as macrophages or scavenger cells, engulf and destroy many infectious agents.</p>
<p>Pneumonia is common, and can be a complication from a lingering cold or bout with influenza or bronchitis. Nearly half of community-acquired pneumonia cases are believed t...
There is a lot of buzz every year about "The Flu Shot." The debate rages every fall, "should I or should I not get the vaccine?" There are more opinions than you could shake a stick at, but I would like to focus on just a couple of the ones I hear all the time, and talk about the risks and benefits of the vaccines to those of us with RA, or if you are caretaker of someone with RA.
Fist lets look at some seldom heard facts about influenza, or The FLU.
The 1918 flu pandemic killed between 50-100 MILLION people worldwide. It is now considered the greatest medical holocaust in history, killing more people than the black plague did.
The reason for the 1918 and every pandemic flu event since is simple. Humans travel worldwide every day, flying country to country and mingling with others. It is estimated a virus could circle the globe causing infection worldwide within 72 hours.
There have been five pandemic episodes of flu in the last century 1918, 1957, 1968, 1977...
Risk Factors Risk factors for pneumonia often depend on the specific type of disease. Risk Factors for Institutional- and Hospital-Acquired (Nosocomial) Pneumonia Pneumonia that is contracted in the hospital is called hospital-acquired or nosocomial pneumonia. It affects an estimated 5 - 10 of every 1,000 hospitalized patients every year. More than half of these cases may be due to strains of bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics. In fact, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa are leading causes of death from hospital-acquired pneumonia. Those at highest risk: The elderly and very young. People with chronic or severe medical conditions, such as lung problems, heart disease, nervous system (neurologic) disorders, and cancer. People who have had surgery, particularly people over age 80. Among the surgical procedures that pose a particular risk are removal of the spleen (splenectomy), abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, or ope...
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