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Understanding pneumonia and risk factors

Pneumonia can occur in anyone, particularly if they have a respiratory infection such as the flu and laryngitis. However, there are over 30 causes of pneumonia, and some people are more at risk than others of coming down with it. This is why it could help some Oregon residents to better understand the illness and their risk of developing it.

Pneumonia can be both bacterial and viral, so bacteria and viruses are two of the main causes. Some other primary causes of pneumonia are infectious agents such as fungi, mycoplasmas and various chemicals. Individuals who have viral pneumonia are also at risk of coming down with bacterial pneumonia.

There is also a higher risk for children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems or chronic respiratory disorders such as asthma, bronchiectasis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis. People with serious ailments such as diabetes, heart disease and liver cirrhosis are also at a higher risk. Additionally, cerebral palsy, cigarette smoking, difficulty swallowing, impaired consciousness, living in a medical facility, and recent trauma or surgery increase the chances of pneumonia onset.

The symptoms of pneumonia vary from mild to serious depending on the age and health of the patient and whether the illness is bacterial or viral. Some of the common ones are cough with mucus, fever, shaking chills and breathlessness. Other symptoms include clammy skin, confusion, fatigue, headache, lack of appetite and energy, and pain in the chest that worsens when coughing or breathing deeply.

Pneumonia can be a life-threatening illness for some people, so it is important that they receive timely and proper treatment. If patients suffer complications because of the negligence of their medical team, they or their family may want to consider filing medical malpractice lawsuits. So that the patients and their relatives can focus on dealing with the complications and recovering, they may want to have the assistance of an attorney throughout the process.