Pneumonia

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pneumonia deaths have decreased significantly with modern medical treatment. Still people die with this deadly disease. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill discusses the various types and treatment of pneumonia.

Dr. Hill:

Pneumonia is an infection of the lung tissue. Before 1936 it was the number one cause of death in the United States. Now, thanks to antibiotics, it has dropped to the seventh leading cause of death.

Currently, there are about five million cases of pneumonia in the United States each year. There are three main causes of pneumonia: bacteria, viruses and mycoplasma.

Streptococcus is the most common bacteria causing pneumonia accounting for 25 to 35 percent of all pneumonias. Streptococcal pneumonia still causes 40,000 deaths per year. Viruses cause half of all pneumonias. There is no standard treatment for viral pneumonia. The symptoms of viral pneumonia are similar to those of bacterial. Mycoplasma is an organism that is neither a bacteria nor a virus. It accounts for 20 percent of pneumonias.

Thanks to modern oral antibiotic therapy, most pneumonia can be treated in the outpatient setting. A pneumonia vaccine is available to help prevent bacterial pneumonias.

Early diagnosis and treatment lessens the severity and mortality of pneumonia.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.