Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. It can be caused by a bacteria, a virus or a fungus. It most often presents with cough and fever. This is a disease that is usually diagnosed by a provider who listens to a patient’s lungs and then orders a chest x-ray. If diagnosed early in its course, pneumonia can be treated with oral medications. If allowed to progress without treatment it can be life threatening.
The most common bacterial pneumonias respond to either penicillin or erythromycin, relatively inexpensive medications. In the elderly or in persons with chronic respiratory conditions, pneumonia might need to be treated in a hospital but for the majority of healthy young and middle aged people this is a potentially serious illness that can be treated effectively in an outpatient setting, if caught early.
Here at Doctor’s Express we can diagnose and treat pneumonia without the need for a long ED wait or even an appointment and we are open weekends and in the early evening.
Some forms of bacterial pneumonia are also preventable and it is now recommended that all children be immunized against pneumonia at 2, 4, 6 and 15 months of age. There is also a vaccine available for protecting adults against pneumonia and it is suggested that adults who smoke or have chronic respiratory illnesses receive this vaccine. Routine immunization against pneumonia is recommended for all adults aged 65 or older.