Coronavirus is thought to be the main threat in coronavirus, as it affects the lungs. How does a covid lesion occur, at what point does the process become complicated by bacterial pneumonia? How to distinguish one from the other, is there a way to protect yourself in advance and prevent COVID-19 from turning into pneumonia?
The first important thing to grasp, says the expert, is that the new coronavirus infection – It is a viral infection and belongs to the group of acute respiratory viral infections. Only influenza stands apart in this group. This means that COVID-19, like all respiratory viral infections affecting the upper respiratory tract and lungs, is characterized by the following phenomenon. Immune defenses in the lungs become weakened. Therefore, secondary bacterial super-infection becomes possible by about 5 – day 9 of any acute respiratory viral illness.
Since covid is a special disease, and it does not progress as quickly as the flu, for example, the accession of bacterial infection usually occurs at COVID-19 closer to the end of the second week.
Risks of pneumonia
The risk of bacterial infection during COVID-19 increases if the patient is hospitalized with chronic upper or lower respiratory tract diseases (e.g. COPD – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or heart failure.
How pneumonia works
In conditions of reduced respiratory and motor activity, when mucus moves less through the bronchi, against the background of body intoxication and reduced immunity, bacteria from the nasopharynx descend to the lower parts of the respiratory tract and can begin to multiply there.
This can lead first to bacterial bronchitis, then to bronchopneumonia and then to pneumonia. Prolonged use of a ventilator can also lead to bacterial pneumonia. Despite observing all the strictest decontamination measures, ventilator-associated pneumonias are risk factors.
Does pneumonia really follow COVID-19
– Recently, analysis of statistical data shows that the medical community has been mistakenly fond of antibiotics when treating a new coronavirus infection, assuming that changes in the lungs are immediately associated not only with the virus, but also with a bacterial component. This is not true.
According to the expert, to date, a number of reputable medical associations have issued memoranda and open letters urging colleagues to reduce the use of antibiotics during COVID-19 treatment because antibiotics do not provide benefits, but do harm in this case, up to and including toxic liver damage and the development of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
– That is, we seem to be trying to treat pneumonia, which in the minds of doctors is firmly associated with bacteria, but in fact at the stage when there is no accession of secondary pneumonia with COVID-19, we are dealing only with coronavirus lung damage, which it is recommended not to call pneumonia, but call pneumonitis (inflammation of vascular walls of alveoli, and also tissue separating alveoli from lungs, which is accompanied by their scarring – a commentary on the treatment of pneumonia).
The very phenomenon of secondary bacterial pneumonia in coronavirus is overestimated, the expert continues. Such processes develop mostly in patients with heart failure, and they are subject to increased precautions, restrictions on movement, recommendations for self-isolation and treatment at home.
– Smokers are also at risk for bacterial pneumonia. However, if smokers with COPD receive competent inhalation treatment and are vaccinated against pneumococcus, the risk of secondary bacterial pneumonia in them is also minimized.
How to protect yourself from pneumonia?
1. Get vaccinated against pneumococcus
The most common cause of community-acquired pneumonia – is pneumococcal disease. The pneumococcal vaccine gives you immunity for 5 – 10 years, if you were vaccinated with the 13-valent vaccine, it guarantees lifelong immunity. Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Haemophilus influenzae – These bacteria are the most common causes of secondary bacterial pneumonia.
2. Humidify the air
Humidifying the air in the room reliably reduces the risks of mucous pus plugs in the bronchi, which lead to clogging of the bronchi, to the formation of dry sputum in the bronchi and the development of infection there. Therefore, if the humidity is above 40%, chances are that bacterial pneumonia will not develop. It’s important to understand that household humidifiers need to be cleaned on time.