Viral pneumonia is a lung infection brought about by a virus. The indications of this infection are strikingly the same with the other forms, but less serious than the bacterial type.
What is the cause?
Viral pneumonia often arises as a complication of less serious infections such as common cold, flu or other upper respiratory infections. Generally, it is less severe and settles on its own within 1-3 weeks.
Those who are at high risk for this type of pneumonia are those diagnosed with chronic lung and heart conditions as well as pregnant women.
What are the symptoms?
The indications of viral pneumonia are strikingly the same as with the other forms, but less severe. The usual signs include:
- Fever and chills
- Cough that might be productive
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain while coughing or deep breathing
- Appetite loss
- Fatigue or exhaustion
Management of viral pneumonia
The treatment for viral pneumonia is aimed on managing the symptoms and allowing the virus to run its course.
In case there is proof that the infection progressed into the bacterial form, antibiotics are given. In some instances, the doctor might prescribe antiviral drugs for viral pneumonia.
Some of the measures that can be done to manage the condition include:
- Increased intake of fluids to loosen the mucus in the lungs to promote easier elimination as well as keep the body hydrated.
- Adequate rest
- Over-the-counter pain medications or fever reducers if needed
Lowering the risk for viral infections can reduce the chances of developing viral pneumonia.
Getting the flu shot yearly, observing cold and flu preventive measures and paying attention to any symptoms can lower the risk as well.