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Question: Please supply me with some information about pneumonia. 



Answer: Pneumonia is an infection of the lung and is a a term applied to any of about 50 distinct diseases of the lungs. It is usually caused by bacteria or viruses, but can be caused by inhaling funguses, protozoa, foreign bodies or vomit. These enter the lungs via the upper respiratory tract and then cause inflammation of the lung tissue.

Pneumonia may affect a part of one lung, this is called lobar pneumonia or both lungs, this is called bronchopneumonia.

The main symptom of pneumonia is a cough, a high temperature with chest pains and shaking.

Treatment depends on the cause of the disease. Antibiotics have no effect against viral pneumonia , but this is generally a milder form and clears up with normal treatment i.e; keeping warm, fluids etc;

Antibiotics are usually effective against bacterial pneumonia. Before the discovery of penicillin, bacterial pneumonia was the most common cause of death in adults. However, penicillin is now often avoided as treatment, as some bacteria are now penicillin resistant.

There is a vaccine available against bacterial pneumonia, but is normally only given to the elderly and people who suffer from chronic disease.

In 1976 scientists identified an additional form of bacterial pneumonia called Legionnaires' disease. 



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