Viral pneumonia


Viral pneumonia is a pneumonia caused by a virus1 Viruses are one of the two major causes of pneumonia, the other being bacteria; less common causes are fungi and parasites Viruses are the most common cause of pneumonia in children, while in adults bacteria are a more common cause2

Contents

  • 1 Signs and symptoms
  • 2 Cause
  • 3 Pathophysiology
  • 4 Prevention
  • 5 Treatment
  • 6 Epidemiology
  • 7 References

Signs and symptomsedit

Symptoms of viral pneumonia include fever, non-productive cough, runny nose, and systemic symptoms eg myalgia, headache Different viruses cause different symptoms

Causeedit

Common causes of viral pneumonia are:

  • Influenza virus A and B3
  • Respiratory syncytial virus RSV3
  • Human parainfluenza viruses in children3

Rarer viruses that commonly result in pneumonia include:

  • Adenoviruses in military recruits3
  • Metapneumovirus4
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome virus SARS coronavirus 5
  • Middle East respiratory syndrome virus MERS coronavirus

Viruses that primarily cause other diseases, but sometimes cause pneumonia include:

  • Herpes simplex virus HSV, mainly in newborns or young children
  • Varicella-zoster virus VZV
  • Measles virus
  • Rubella virus
  • Cytomegalovirus CMV, mainly in people with immune system problems
  • Smallpox virus
  • dengue virus

The most commonly identified agents in children are respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus, human metapneumovirus, human bocavirus, and parainfluenza viruses4

Pathophysiologyedit

Viruses must invade cells in order to reproduce Typically, a virus will reach the lungs by traveling in droplets through the mouth and nose with inhalation There, the virus invades the cells lining the airways and the alveoli This invasion often leads to cell death either through direct killing by the virus or by self-destruction through apoptosis

Further damage to the lungs occurs when the immune system responds to the infection White blood cells, in particular lymphocytes, are responsible for activating a variety of chemicals cytokines which cause leaking of fluid into the alveoli The combination of cellular destruction and fluid-filled alveoli interrupts the transportation of oxygen into the bloodstream

In addition to the effects on the lungs, many viruses affect other organs and can lead to illness affecting many different bodily functions Some viruses also make the body more susceptible to bacterial infection; for this reason, bacterial pneumonia often complicates viral pneumonia

Preventionedit

The best prevention against viral pneumonia is vaccination against influenza, adenovirus, chickenpox, herpes zoster, measles, and rubella

Treatmentedit

In cases of viral pneumonia where influenza A or B are thought to be causative agents, patients who are seen within 48 hours of symptom onset may benefit from treatment with oseltamivir or zanamivir Respiratory syncytial virus RSV has no direct acting treatments, but ribavirin in indicated for severe cases Herpes simplex virus and varicella-zoster virus infections are usually treated with aciclovir, whilst ganciclovir is used to treat cytomegalovirus There is no known efficacious treatment for pneumonia caused by SARS coronavirus, MERS coronavirus, adenovirus, hantavirus, or parainfluenza Care is largely supportive

Epidemiologyedit

Viral pneumonia occurs in about 200 million people a year which includes about 100 million children and 100 million adults4

Referencesedit

  1. ^ "viral pneumonia" at Dorland's Medical Dictionarydead link
  2. ^ National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, USA What Causes Pneumonia
  3. ^ a b c d Table 13-7 in: Mitchell, Richard Sheppard; Kumar, Vinay; Abbas, Abul K; Fausto, Nelson Robbins Basic Pathology: With STUDENT CONSULT Online Access Philadelphia: Saunders ISBN 1-4160-2973-7  8th edition
  4. ^ a b c Ruuskanen, O; Lahti, E; Jennings, LC; Murdoch, DR 2011-04-09 "Viral pneumonia" Lancet 377 9773: 1264–75 PMID 21435708 doi:101016/S0140-67361061459-6 
  5. ^ http://wwwcdcgov/ncidod/sars/factsheethtm


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