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Viral pneumonia less serious?

  1. Jan 30, 2015 #1
    Why is viral pneumonia less serious than bacterial pneumonia(which can cause a pulmonary abscess)?

    I mean what if you are infected by multiple viruses for some reason or another. This makes the whole viral infection more serious than if you were infected by a single bacterium.

    Also while babies might not often get bacterial infections, they often have the most serious cases of any infection because they have less antibodies against it than everybody else does. This makes even the common cold more serious in babies since it can lead to an even more serious infection with viral pneumonia, especially from the flu virus which has symptoms that can start as soon as 4 hours after the infection starts and is a common culprit for viral pneumonia. And the common cold is a filtrable virus(meaning it can pass through porcelain easily) so it itself could potentially get to the lungs and cause pneumonia.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2015 #2
    Thanks for the post! This is an automated courtesy bump. Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post?
  4. Feb 5, 2015 #3
    Right here is a webpage that has a table comparing bacterial pneumonia to viral pneumonia:

    It says that viral pneumonia is usually less serious. However I don't know how that is the case when you can get infected by multiple viruses making the whole viral infection more serious and the fact that some viruses might cause mild symptoms in some tissues and severe symptoms in other tissues.

    And people with weak immune systems such as babies tend to have the worst symptoms of any infection, whether or not it is contagious.

    So if people in a family are all infected with cold viruses it is very likely that elderly, people with compromised immune systems, and infants will get viral pneumonia either from the cold virus itself going into the alveoli where it could potentially get into the bloodstream and cause blood poisoning or sepsis, or from a different virus that gets into their lungs while the cold virus is still inside them and causing symptoms. This can cause symptoms that happen as soon as 4 hours after the infection starts, especially if it is from the flu virus. It can also cause symptoms that are so severe that they need to be treated in a hospital instead of with supportive care at home.

    Now yes lots of bacteria cause severe and abrupt symptoms and bacteria are the most common cause of pneumonia but that does not mean that viral pneumonia is any less serious.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
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