<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...
Medications Dozens of antibiotics are available for treating pneumonia, but selecting the best drug is sometimes difficult. Patients with pneumonia need an antibiotic that is effective against the organism causing the disease. When the organism is unknown, "empiric therapy" is given, meaning the doctor chooses which antibiotic is likely to work based on factors such as the patient's age, health, and severity of the illness. In determining the appropriate antibiotic, the physician must first answer a number of questions: How severe is the pneumonia? Mild-to-moderate cases can be treated at home with oral antibiotics. Severe pneumonia usually needs intravenous antibiotics administered in the hospital. If the organism causing the pneumonia is not known, was the disorder community- or hospital-acquired? Different organisms are usually involved in each setting, and the physician can use this information to guess the most likely organism causing the pneumonia. If the organism is known, is it typ...
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