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What are lung infections?

The invasion of the lung by viruses, fungi or bacteria gives rise to lung infections. A viral lung infection is more common than a bacterial lung infection. The commonly seen lung infections are tuberculosis, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, flu and pneumonia.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

The following symptoms are observed in individuals with lung infections:

What are the main causes?

The infections of the lungs can be caused by bacteria, viruses or mycoplasma, which is a special type of bacteria. The common bacteria that cause lung infections are Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus species and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The common viruses that cause lung infections are the respiratory syncytial virus, influenza viruses, respiratory adenoviruses and parainfluenza viruses. Fungi like aspergillosis are also known to cause lung infections commonly.

The following are the infections caused by these bacteria and viruses:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Influenza
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Bronchitis

How is it diagnosed and treated?

The doctor may recommend the following tests for the diagnosis of lung infections:

  • Blood tests to check for the presence of antibodies which are produced during an infection
  • Phlegm test to detect the presence of bacteria or viruses
  • Imaging tests like chest X-ray or CT scan for an overview of the lungs

The exact treatment for lung infections depends on the underlying cause. The doctor may prescribe medicines like antibiotics or antifungals to eliminate the organism. Surgery or a wash inside the lungs might be needed in certain cases to eliminate the infection entirely.

The following are self-care tips useful in the management of lung infections:

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Take medications prescribed by the doctor
  • Give enough rest to the body
  • Use an air humidifier or try steam inhalation
  • Prop yourself up while sleeping to make breathing easier
  • Quit smoking as it directly affects the lungs
  • Consult the doctor immediately in case of problems in breathing
  1. Medicines for Lung Infections
  2. Doctors for Lung Infections
Dr. Somveer Punia

Dr. Somveer Punia

Pulmonology
5 Years of Experience

Dr. Rajendra Bera

Dr. Rajendra Bera

Pulmonology
16 Years of Experience

Dr.Vikas Maurya

Dr.Vikas Maurya

Pulmonology
20 Years of Experience

Dr. Prem Prakash Bansal

Dr. Prem Prakash Bansal

Pulmonology
30 Years of Experience

References

  1. Alvaro Ruibal. et al. Lung Infection and Treatment . Journal of Lung Diseases and Treatment. [Internet]. OMICS International.
  2. State of Victoria. [Internet]. Department of Health & Human Services. Chest infections.
  3. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. [Internet]. New York, United States; TREATMENT FOR INFECTIOUS LUNG DISEASES.
  4. Speert DP. Bacterial infections of the lung in normal and immunodeficient patients.. Novartis Found Symp. 2006;279:42-51; disussion 51-5, 216-9. PMID: 17278384.
  5. South Dakota Department of Health. [Internet]. Pierre, SD; COMMON VIRAL RESPIRATORY DISEASES.

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