Essay Example on Pneumonia

Published: 2022-09-23
Essay Example on Pneumonia
Type of paper:  Course work
Categories:  Biology Medicine
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 991 words
9 min read

According to Thompson (2016), pneumonia is an infectious disease which mainly infects the lung and is caused by fungi, viruses, or bacteria. This infection is responsible for causing the alveoli or air sacs inside the lungs to become filled up with fluid due to an inflammation (Healthline, 2018). The result is a poor exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide gases in and out of the lung, hence leading to difficulty in breathing and coughing (Thompson, 2016). The disease may also be caused by irradiation or the inhalation of foreign particles (Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d.). While pneumonia may be caused by viruses and fungi, the most common causes are bacteria, such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Hence, the main types of pneumonia include mycoplasma, viral, bacterial, community-acquired, aspiration, and ventilator-associated pneumonia (Healthline, 2018).

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The general symptoms of pneumonia include sharp chest pain, coughing that produces mucus or phlegm, shortness of breath, high fever, sweating, and chills, difficulty in breathing, and confusion (Mayo Clinic, 2018). Other common symptoms are fatigue, chills, lower than normal body temperature, shaking, fast breathing, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, low appetite, and changes in mental awareness (DerSarkissian, 2016). However, since the symptoms of pneumonia vary from mild to severe based on factors such as overall health, age, and the type of organism causing the infection, the symptoms may be categorized into symptoms by age and by cause (Healthline, 2018). Examples of symptoms by cause are confusion, bluish nails and lips, profuse sweating, and high fever caused by bacteria and flu-like symptoms such as wheezing caused by viruses. The symptoms by age include lower-than-normal body temperature in old people, trouble with eating or drinking, lack of energy, and vomiting among infants, and fast breathing in children under the age of five (Healthline, 2018). According to Healthline (2018), the illness brought about by pneumonia usually lasts for weeks depending on one's general health, the type of pneumonia, and its severity.

Medical Treatments for Pneumonia

The main medical treatment options available for pneumonia patients include antibiotics, pain relievers/fever reducers, and cough medicine, and vaccination (Mayo Clinic, 2018). The type of treatment is usually determined by overall health, age, the severity of infection, and the type of germ causing the infection. Examples of pain relievers that can be used to treat pneumonia are acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), and aspirin while coughing may be reduced by taking over-the-counter cough medicines. The common vaccination shots for pneumonia patients include PPSV23 (Pneumovax) for kids older than two years and people who are at least 65 years old and PCV13 (Prevnar 13) for children under the age of five and individuals who are 65 years or older (DerSarkissian, 2016).

Humans are typically not bedridden or incapacitated during pneumonia infection. Most patients respond positively to pneumonia treatment and recover quickly without the need for hospitalization (Healthline, 2018). However, according to Healthline (2018), one may need to be hospitalized or bedridden where the symptoms are very severe and where they have developed other chronic health complications and problems, such as emphysema, heart attack, septic shock, blood pressure, and congestive heart failure. If not treated, the disease can be fatal in some cases. Accordingot Healthline (2018), out of two to three million people in the United States who develop pneumonia every year, 60,000 of them die.


According to Feke (2018), the first step to pneumonia prevention is finding out the type of pneumonia they have. Pneumonia may be avoided by taking various preventive measures such as maintaining healthy lifestyles, quitting smoking, practicing good hygiene by washing hands regularly with soap and keeping the immune system strong by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep (Mayo Clinic, 2018). Other ways of preventing this diseases include vaccinating children under the age of five, covering one's sneezes or coughs and disposing of the used tissues, taking antibiotics regularly, staying away from infected people, and eating plenty of vegetables and fruits (DerSarkissian, 2016).

Pneumonia in Chimpanzees

Since chimpanzees have little medicine, lack shelter from weather elements such as biting cold, and have to move around in search for food, they are prone to pneumonia. Hence, this disease would affect a chimpanzee by causing them to suffer from colds due to their exposure to extreme elements of weather such as rain and cold in the jungle. Moreover, since chimps do not share food and have to look for food on their own, they may be adversely affected by pneumonia in that they may become weak and vulnerable to catching a cold in the wild. The lack of food weakens the ability of their immune systems to fight infections such as pneumonia, hence leaving the susceptible. Additionally, given the common evolutionary roots that chimpanzees share with humans and the fact that pneumonia is an infectious disease, it may affect chimpanzees when passed from human beings coming into contacts with them, such as hunters or researchers. Evidence from research indicates that this disease can be easily transmitted between humans and chimpanzees.

Therefore, if I were a chimpanzee, I would have survived pneumonia infection by adapting to the conditions in the jungle and taking precautions such as avoiding cold and keeping warm. Adaptation may be in the form of eating leaves from a variety of plants with medicinal properties to help get rid of disease-causing organisms and developing more hairs on the skin to help keep warm. As a chimp, I would also survive pneumonia attack by always cuddling with others and finding warm places in the jungle to shield me from biting cold from wind and rain.


DerSarkissian, C. (2016). What is bacterial pneumonia? WebMD. Retrieved from

Encyclopedia Britannica. (n.d.). Pneumonia pathology. Retrieved from

Feke, T. (2018). How pneumonia is diagnosed. Verywellhealth. Retrieved from

Healthline. (2018). All about pneumonia and how to treat it effectively. Retrieved from

Mayo Clinic. (2018). Pneumonia. Retrieved from

Thompson, A.E. (2016). Pneumonia. JAMA, 315(6), 626.

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