Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs. Often, pneumonia begins after an infection of the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat). This infection causes fluid to collect in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe.
Pneumonia can be caused by different types of germs, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. With children, viruses are usually the cause of pneumonia. Children with viral pneumonia can also develop bacterial pneumonia. Pneumonia can also occur if foreign material, such as food or stomach acid, is inhaled into the lungs.
Symptoms of pneumonia include:
· Cough, usually with yellow or green mucus
· Poor appetite
· Loose bowel movements
· Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
· Pale or bluish lips, fingernails or toenails
Specialists at The Children’s Hospital diagnose pneumonia in the following ways:
· Blood tests
· Chest X-rays
· Sputum cultures