Can cold weather cause pneumonia?


We often hear that cold weather can cause pneumonia. This is not accurate. 
While cold weather do not directly cause pneumonia, it can increase your risk of developing it.

This is because during cold weather conditions people tend to be indoors more, thus increasing close contact. There are also increased rates of infection during cold weather from both bacterial and viral pneumonia, but the infection itself is not from the cold weather.

Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs that can be caused by fungi, viruses and bacteria.
Bacterial infections is the common cause of pneumonia that occurs in adults. Bacterial pneumonia causes your lungs to become inflamed and fluid-filled.

How do you know you have pneumonia?

Pneumonia symptoms can vary. They may be confused with the symptoms of common cold and flu, including fever, difficulty breathing, chest pain, and coughing up phlegm or mucus.

Pneumonia can easily be mistaken as a stubborn cold or flu. It is important you diagnose pneumonia  early to prevent complications.

Pneumonia symptoms can be mild to life threatening. They can include:


Coughing that may produce phlegm (mucus)

Chest pain that worsens when you breathe or cough

Sweating or chills

Shortness of breath that occurs during normal activities or while resting.

Tiredness and fatigue

Fast heart rate

Loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, headaches.

For infants, they may appear to be asymptomatic (having no symptoms), but sometimes they may vomit, lack energy, or have trouble drinking or eating.

Children under 5 years old may have fast breathing or wheezing.

Is Pneumonia Contagious?  

Some types of pneumonia are contagious, the pneumonia itself is not what is contagious but the bacteria and virus which causes it.

The virus or bacteria can be spread from person to person when infected people sneeze, cough, talk as this releases droplets into the air. The droplets can be inhaled by close contacts.

While bacterial and viral pneumonia are contagious, fungal pneumonia does not spread from person to person

How is pneumonia treated?

Treating pneumonia depends on the cause and severity of the pneumonia. Treatment for pneumonia can include antibiotics, antifungal medications, antiviral drugs, oxygen therapy may be given if you are not getting enough oxygen.

Talk to your doctor if you have difficulty breathing, you have a persistent fever, or if you have symptoms that do not get better after a few days.


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