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The main symptoms of pulmonary infection are dry cough or phlegm, difficulty breathing, rapid and shallow breathing and high fever that lasts for more than 48 hours, which only subsides after using medication. It is important that in the presence of symptoms, the person goes to the doctor so that the diagnosis is made and the appropriate treatment is initiated, preventing complications.
Lung infection or lower respiratory infection happens when microorganisms enter the body through the upper respiratory tract and remain in the lung, being more frequent in people who have a weakened immune system due to chronic diseases or medication use, or due to age, for example.Learn more about lung infection.
The initial symptoms of a lung infection can be the same symptoms of flu, common cold and even otitis, as there can be sore throat and ear. However, if the symptoms are persistent, worsening over the days, it may be indicative of pulmonary infection, whose main symptoms are:
- Dry or discharged cough;
- High and persistent fever;
- Loss of appetite
- Chest pain;
- Back pain;
- Difficulty breathing;
- Rapid shallow breathing;
In the presence of these symptoms, it is important to consult a general practitioner, pediatrician or pulmonologist so that the diagnosis can be made and treatment started.The diagnosis is made through the evaluation of symptoms, pulmonary auscultation, chest X-ray, blood count and analysis of the sputum or nasal mucosa to identify the microorganism causing the infection.
How the diagnosis is made
The diagnosis of pulmonary infection is made by the general practitioner, pediatrician or pulmonologist through the evaluation of the signs and symptoms presented by the person, in addition to the results of imaging and laboratory tests that may be requested. Usually the doctor recommends performing a chest X-ray to identify any sign of lung changes.
In addition, the doctor also recommends performing blood tests, such as a blood count, and microbiological tests based on the analysis of sputum or nasal mucosa sample to identify which microorganism is associated with the infection and, thus, possible to start treatment with the most indicated medicine.
How to treat
Treatment for pulmonary infection is done according to medical advice and it is usually indicated that the person stays at rest, hydrates properly and uses antibiotics, antivirals or antifungals for 7 to 14 days according to the identified microorganism. In addition, the use of medicines to reduce pain and fever, such as Paracetamol, for example, may be indicated. Learn more about treatment for lung infection.
Respiratory physiotherapy is indicated mainly in the case of the elderly, as they tend to be more bedridden, and also in the case of people who acquired a respiratory infection during hospitalization, with physiotherapy being useful to help eliminate secretions. Understand what respiratory physiotherapy is and how it is performed.