What is Viral Pneumonia?

May 5, 2022

Dr. Jerry Williams of Urgent Care 24/7 discusses pneumonia.

We've got some questions that have been popping up on the internet and social media to us about what is viral pneumonia it with the COVID-19 epidemic. Dr. Williams thought maybe a good idea for me to talk to you a little bit about pneumonia from a kind of 30,000 foot level looking down, so people are going to understand the different types and causes of pneumonia.

There are several different kinds of pneumonia you can have. The most common pneumonia for which people will seek medical care for is typically a bacterial pneumonia, which most commonly is caused by a strep pneumoniae bacteria as the name of the bacteria, but there are different bacteria that can cause bacterial pneumonias, and even some atypical bacteria that can cause pneumonia like you may have heard of Legionnaires disease or Legionella being the bacteria that can cause that pneumonia. There's all kinds of different bacteria that can cause a lung infection. Then there's also viral pneumonia is like the COVID-19 virus, and other viruses in that family but other viruses like respiratory syncytial virus, RSV that can typically affect babies, the influenza virus, which is a lung infection, the flu.

There are different viruses that can cause lung infections, which is what we've experienced with the covid 19 pandemic. Now another thing that can cause pneumonia is our fungi. The pneumonia that we get with those kinds of infections typically, are in patients who have very suppressed immune systems, such as who may have been through chemotherapy, or have some kind of cancer or maybe have HIV that's not well treated or controlled, then they can present with a fungal infection to the lungs, which can be very difficult to treat.

There are also some pneumonias that can happen from just substances that can either be breathed in that can damage the lung themselves, or such as if someone is to inhale oil. Like people who take mineral oil as a laxative or stool softener, when they're taking the mineral oil if they breathe it into their lungs that can cause a pneumonitis or an inflammation of the lung tissue and can present like a pneumonia.

Also, smoke inhalation can cause a pneumonitis. Caustic agents like bleach if someone's we will see patients from time to time who are cleaning a bathroom or a super enclosed space without good air flow and ventilation with bleach in the bleach will actually cause a pneumonitis and they'll have problems breathing and it will present calm like an ammonia.

Dr. Williams wanted to just spend these few minutes here talking about the different kinds of pneumonia because that's a question that's popped up a lot on our websites and on our social media nationally.