Pneumonia and influenza (flu) are both severe illnesses; sometimes, influenza might be a common cause of pneumonia. However, both impact the body differently. In the further lines, you will learn the differences between them. Keep reading this blog to understand the causes, treatments, and types of influenza and pneumonia.
Influenza is an infection of the throat, lungs, and nose, which are part of the respiratory system. Influenza is commonly known as flu. It is caused by the virus “influenza” and is generally characterized by symptoms including cough, fever, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, headaches, fatigue, and body aches. Most individuals with influenza “flu” get better on their own. But in a few cases, they need medicine to treat influenza.
Pneumonia is a kind of infection in your lungs caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. Pneumonia causes your lung tissue to inflammation (swell) and may cause pus or fluid in your lungs. Bacterial pneumonia is commonly more acute than viral pneumonia, which frequently resolves on its own.
Pneumonia may impact one or both lungs. Bilateral or double pneumonia refers to pneumonia that affects both lungs. Cough, chest pain, fever, shortness of breath, and exhaustion are some of its symptoms.
While pneumonia and influenza may cause respiratory symptoms, the underlying treatments and causes differ. Pneumonia is commonly treated with antiviral drugs, antibiotics, or other particular treatments relying on the underlying cause, while influenza is a viral infection that might be prevented with a vaccine & treated with antiviral medicines.
Brief introduction of types
Types of influenza
There are three types of influenza viruses
- Influenza A
- Influenza B
- Influenza C
Influenza A: This kind of virus is known to cause acute illness and may infect humans, animals, and birds. Type A flu virus is continually evolving and is commonly responsible for the widespread flu epidemics. People who are already infected may spread the influenza A2 virus. If you want to prevent yourself from Influenza A, you should distance yourself from an infected person.
Influenza B: This particular virus mainly affects people and is less dangerous than influenza A. Influenza B viruses are not categorized into subtypes.
Influenza C: Humans can get a moderate respiratory infection from this type of virus, which is not associated with pandemics or epidemics. Influenza C viruses are not categorized into subtypes.
Types of pneumonia
There are a few types of pneumonia, such as:
- Viral pneumonia
- Bacterial pneumonia
- Fungal pneumonia
- Community-acquired pneumonia
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Hospital-acquired pneumonia
Viral pneumonia: This kind of pneumonia is caused by viruses, including the influenza virus, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), and the SARS-CoV2- virus (that causes Covid- 19).
Bacterial pneumonia: This kind of pneumonia is caused by bacteria, such as Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Legionella pneumophila.
Fungal pneumonia: This kind of pneumonia is caused by fungi, including Cryptococcus neoformans, Histoplasma capsulatum, and Pneumocystis jirovecii.
Community-acquired pneumonia: This kind of pneumonia is contracted outside of a hospital or healthcare facility and may be brought on by a variety of microorganisms.
Aspiration pneumonia: This particular form of pneumonia is caused by inhaling liquid, food, or vomit into the lungs, leading to inflammation or infection.
Hospital-acquired pneumonia: You may get HAP (hospital-acquired pneumonia) while receiving treatment for another sickness or operation at a healthcare facility or hospital. HAP is commonly more severe than CAP because its frequently caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). It means HAP can make you sicker and be more challenging to treat.
Treatment for pneumonia and influenza
Treatment for pneumonia relies on the causes, such as viral, bacterial, or fungal. A few treatments for pneumonia may include:
Viral pneumonia generally isn’t treated with medicine and might go away on its own. However, healthcare providers can prescribe antiviral drugs such as peramivir, oseltamivir, or zanamivir to treat your condition.
Antibiotics help to treat bacterial pneumonia. The type of bacteria causing the infection and the patient’s clinical history will determine which antibiotic is best.
Antifungal medicines may treat pneumonia caused by fungal infections.
OTC (over-the-counter) medicines such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and cough suppressants may help treat symptoms like pain, fever, and cough.
Along with these medicines, you should take enough rest, drink fluids, and avoid tobacco and alcohol. These precautions may help your body to fight against the infection.
In a few cases, hospitalization can be essential. If you have underlying clinical conditions or a weakened immune system, you need to admit to a hospital. Mechanical ventilation or oxygen therapy can sometimes be required to help with breathing.
Here are a few treatments for influenza, such as:
Drinking enough water may help to prevent dehydration, which is a frequent complication of the flu.
Get plenty of rest
Rest is necessary for the body to heal and fight off the infection.
OTC (over-the-counter) medicines such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may help to relieve aches and decrease fever. Decongestants can also help to treat cough and congestion.
You can treat influenza using antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu, Relenza, Xofluza, Rapivap, etc.
While pneumonia and influenza might have similar symptoms, they are caused by various pathogens and need different treatments. Pneumonia is not often caused by influenza, although it may occasionally produce it as a consequence. It’s crucial to consult a healthcare expert if you have symptoms of the flu (influenza) or pneumonia so that you may get a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
You can also take the help of the above-mentioned medicines. While purchasing any drug for pneumonia or influenza, ensure to buy them from a relevant pharmacy.