Viral Pneumonia

More and more viruses are being identified as the cause of respiratory infection:

  • Half of all pneumonias are believed to be of viral origin
  • Most viruses attack the upper respiratory tract but some produce pneumonia, especially in children
  • Most viral pneumonias are patchy and self-limiting

 

Primary influenza virus pneumonia is severe and may be fatal:

  • The virus invades the lungs and multiplies
  • There are almost no physical signs of lung tissue becoming filled with fluid
  • Pregnant women or people with pre-existing heart or pulmonary illness are most susceptible

Symptoms

The initial symptoms of virus pneumonia are those of influenza: Check GIF

  • fever
  • dry cough
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • prostration

 

The symptoms advance rapidly, within 12 to 36 hours:

  • increasing breathlessness
  • worsening cough producing scant amount of bloody sputum
  • high fever
  • possibly blueness of lips

 

During the final stage the patient has:

  • unbearable air hunger
  • breathlessness


Other virus pneumonias are complicated by an invasion of bacteria, and all the typical symptoms of a bacterial pneumonia.

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Page Last Updated: 19/01/2015