Is Multifocal Pneumonia Deadly? Diagnosis Explained!

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Today, more than ever, we hear about multifocal pneumonia. But what is it? This is an acute inflammation of both lungs that, if neglected, can affect the ability to breathe and even cause death.

Multifocal pneumonia is a viral, fungal, or bacterial infection that can affect the two lungs. Individuals who are affected usually have difficulty breathing and the presence of fluids in their lungs. It is important to note that pneumonia is a serious disease that can cause death if not treated.

Multifocal pneumonia infection mechanism

Symptoms of multifocal pneumonia

Multifocal pneumonia mostly affects older people. However, it can affect everyone regardless of age. People who use drugs or abuse alcohol can also be affected.

Also, people whose immune systems are compromised tend to be at higher risk of developing pneumonia than healthy individuals. People whose bodies are weakened by a recent bout of flu or other lung infections can become ill easily.

The disease is spread when an infected person sneezes or coughs in the presence of other people. Pathogens enter the lungs and colonize the air sacs.

White blood cell is sent by the body to fight the foreign bodies. The lungs soon fill with fluid and pus, a thick fluid that forms when white blood cells build up in one part of the body.

Is multifocal pneumonia contagious?

Many ask themselves is multifocal pneumonia contagious? We can say that some are contagious and others are not, since the cause that causes them is the determining element to be able to affirm it:

1. Viral pneumonia: it is usually contagious. However, it is important to note that it is not pneumonia itself that is contagious, but rather the agent that causes it. This means that the patient is not affected with multifocal pneumonia, but with the virus itself that causes it.

2. Bacteria pneumonia: in most cases, it is not contagious, but there are some exceptions. The bacteria that cause it can be transmitted to others, but they may not develop pneumonia.

3. Pneumonia due to fungi or parasites: they are transmitted indirectly from one person to another

Symptoms of multifocal pneumonia

Multiple pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs that affects the respiratory functions of both organs. It is a disease that cannot be neglected and that can worsen over time. It is not easy to recognize the symptoms because it can be confused with a common cold or flu, but the most common symptoms are the following:

  • High fever
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chest or back pain
  • Cough (first dry, then oily)
  • Exhaustion
  • Lack of appetite 
  • General discomfort
  • Purplish or bluish tone to the skin due to lack of oxygen 

Causes of multifocal pneumonia

Multifocal pneumonia may occur especially among those people who are exposed to cigarette smoke or who are predisposed to infections of the first respiratory tract or subjects to chronic respiratory tract disease or immunocompromised patients, etc.

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How is multifocal pneumonia diagnosed?

Pneumonia can sometimes be difficult to diagnose because it can cause some of the same symptoms as cold or flu. You may need several weeks before you notice any sign of multifocal pneumonia.

To find out if you have pneumonia, your healthcare professional:

  • Review your medical history, including questions about your symptoms 
  • A stethoscope can be used to perform physical exams by listening to the lungs
  • You can order various tests, including chest X-ray 
  • Blood tests such as a complete blood count to see if your immune system is actively fighting an infection 
  • A blood culture to determine if you have a bacteria infection that has spread to your bloodstream 

If you are in the hospital, have severe symptoms, are older, or have other health problems, you may also have more tests, such as:

Sputum test: looks for bacteria in a sample of your sputum (saliva) or phlegm (mucus coughed up from the lungs).

CT scan of the chest: to see how much of your lungs are affected. It can also show if you have complications such as lung abscesses or pleural effusions (fluid buildup in the pleural space).

Pleural fluid culture: looks for bacteria in a sample of fluid taken from the pleural space.

Pulse oximetry or blood oxygen level test: seeks to check how much oxygen is in your blood.

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Treatments For multifocal pneumonia

The doctor diagnoses multifocal pneumonia through a physical examination, listens to the lungs with a stethoscope, and may also take an X-ray.

You may also perform a blood test to obtain a white blood cell count.

Affected individuals with fungal or viral multifocal pneumonia may have more white blood cells known as lymphocytes. However, individuals with bacterial multifocal pneumonia infection may have more neutrophils. The doctor may also use sputum culture to determine if the infection is caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses.

In most cases, antibiotics are prescribed by doctors for multifocal pneumonia caused by bacteria or fungi. Pneumonia can be prevented by getting an annual flu vaccine because this illness usually follows the flu. You can also avoid pneumonia and other illnesses by following a healthy diet, practicing good hygiene, and having a regular sleep cycle.

There is no single treatment for pneumonia since it will depend on the Patient’s age, symptoms, and type of pneumonia. In any case, in the presence of the aforementioned symptoms, it is recommended to go to the doctor and avoid home remedies.

End Up

In general, recovery time from pneumonia varies from person to person. Additionally, a person’s overall health is important when recovering from multifocal pneumonia. Most healthy people with underlying health conditions usually recover from pneumonia without any problems within a few days.

Patients who have had the disease in the past may recover, but it may take longer. In very severe cases, pneumonia can lead to death. Nevertheless, many patients with multifocal pneumonia ultimately do well. The most important thing in multifocal pneumonia is that the patient survives the acute phase, the patient usually does well, and the lungs heal and become healthy

References

  1. MedlinePlus(n.d) Pneumonia. Available Online at: https://medlineplus.gov/pneumonia.html
  2. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute(2022) Symptoms. Available Online at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/pneumonia/symptoms

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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