9 Symptoms of Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a disease that has plagued mankind for thousands of years. Even with the discovery of antibiotics, it continues to infect thousands of people across the globe and it continues to claim lives every day. In fact, according to the American Thoracic Society, phenomena are the leading cause of death worldwide for children less than five years of age. Aside from childbirth, it is the most common reason for hospitalization with over 1 million Americans hospitalized for treatment every year.

It’s important to note that most of these symptoms are also signs of the common cold or the flu, but with pneumonia the symptoms will last longer and will progressively worsen over time. If you experience any of these symptoms, particularly if you are having issues with breathing or chest pain, seek medical attention immediately as these can also be signs of more severe medical issues.

1. Fever Chills

Fever chills are a common symptom of pneumonia. The microbe that causes the lung infection produces byproducts called pyrogens. These pyrogens trigger a reaction in the brain that causes fever. Keep in mind that a fever isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

It’s part of the immune system’s natural mechanism of defense. The higher body temperature increases the production and the effectiveness of the immune’s system white blood cells. Pneumonia also functions best at normal body temperature, so elevating body temperature can hamper the growth of the infection.

The same pyrogens that tell the brain to increase body temperature also induce chills. The blood is drawn from the limbs and concentrated on the core, so the limbs feel colder. The shaking of the limbs helps induce more heat from the muscles, which aids in the fever.

Fever chills themselves are not dangerous, but they are a symptom of a serious infection and may be a sign of pneumonia. If fever exceeds 102 degrees seek immediate medical attention, as a high fever can cause seizures and brain damage.