Which Type of Pneumonia is Contagious & How Long is Pneumonia Contagious?
Types of Pneumonia
In order to understand whether Pneumonia is contagious or not, it is important to understand what is Pneumonia and what are the different types of Pneumonia. To begin with, pneumonia is a pathological condition characterized by inflammation of the tissues of the lungs. It is usually caused by acquired or environmental pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and fungus. An individual with Pneumonia will have his or her air sacs in the lungs filled with pus which will cause the various symptoms like coughing and fever consistent with Pneumonia. The type of pneumonia an individual has depends on whether only a single lung is affected or whether both the lungs are equally affected.
There are many types of pneumonia to include viral, bacterial, walking, fungal, and aspiration pneumonia. Bacterial Pneumonia as the name suggests is caused by various bacteria but most commonly caused by streptococcal pneumoniae in adults and influenza type B pneumonia in children. This type of pneumonia causes fever, chest pain, persistent coughing, and shortness of breath.
The second type of pneumonia is the walking pneumonia. This is the milder form of pneumonia and has symptoms that are quite similar to that of common cold to include persistent dry cough fever, shortness of breath, and persistent fatigue. The third type of pneumonia is the viral pneumonia. This type of pneumonia is usually found in children. Viral pneumonia usually lasts for about three weeks and then clears away but it puts the child at risk for having a bacterial form of the infection which is far more severe. The symptoms of viral pneumonia are persistent cough, cold, and fever which may worsen for a few days but then starts to improve.
The next type of pneumonia is the fungal pneumonia and can be caused by various fungi. Individuals with a compromised immune system tend to get this form of pneumonia with symptoms to include fever, chills and shortness of breath. The final type of pneumonia is the aspiration pneumonia which is caused by ingestion of food or other items into the lungs. This type of pneumonia is the most serious ones of all the types and requires immediate medical attention.
Which Types Of Pneumonia Is Contagious?
Some types of pneumonia are extremely contagious while others are not contagious at all. This all depends on the type of pneumonia that the affected individual has.
Bacterial Pneumonia is extremely contagious and can easily pass from an individual to another through close contact. Thus it is essential for an individual with Bacterial Pneumonia to begin antibiotics immediately to reduce contagiousness.
- Walking pneumonia is also contagious and can be transmitted in the form of droplets coming of a sneeze or a cough but this type of pneumonia is not that contagious as the bacterial type pneumonia.
- Viral pneumonia is again extremely contagious and in fact can spread faster than the bacterial form of pneumonia.
- Fungal pneumonia is a type of pneumonia that is not at all contagious as it only affects people with weak immune system like the elderly and newborn children.
- Aspiration pneumonia may be the most serious form of pneumonia but this type again is not at all contagious and does not transmit from one individual to another.
How Long Is Pneumonia Contagious?
Now that we know the types of pneumonia that are contagious then it is equally important to know that the duration of its contagiousness. In cases of bacterial and viral pneumonia, which are the two most contagious forms, if treatment is started immediately after diagnosis then the duration that the affected individual can transmit this disease to someone else is shorter.
An individual with bacterial form of pneumonia will stop being contagious within two days of administration of antibiotics. For other types of pneumonia, it may take as long as a couple of weeks for the individual to be completely free of being able to transmit this condition to someone else.
Individuals with viral pneumonia may be contagious as long as the symptoms are active. Once the symptoms start to fade away then they no longer remain contagious.
How To Prevent Yourself From Getting Pneumonia?
Some of the ways that you can prevent yourself from getting Pneumonia from someone else are:
- In order to prevent getting pneumonia, it is important to wash hands before and after touching food or after blowing your nose. You also need to wash the hand thoroughly with soap and water after using the restroom or after changing a baby’s diaper, or after coming in contact with an individual affected with Pneumonia
- Abstaining from smoking
- Being up-to-date on the flu shot
- If you are on the high risk list of getting this disease then it is extremely vital for you to get a pneumonia vaccine to prevent yourself from getting pneumonia.
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