Diseases

Pneumonia in children

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The Pneumonia in children is the most common childhood respiratory disease. It is usually triggered by bacteria or viruses. Pneumonia in children is sometimes difficult to detect because the symptoms can be very nonspecific. Severe pneumonia in children can lead to death, so timely treatment is important. Read all important information about pneumonia in children.

ICD codes for this disease: ICD codes are internationally valid medical diagnosis codes. They are found e.g. in medical reports or on incapacity certificates. J15J14J16J18J12P23J13Article OverviewLung Infection in Children

  • Pneumonia in children - description
  • Causes of pneumonia in children
  • Pneumonia in children: recognize symptoms
  • Diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia in children
  • Pneumonia in children - prognosis
  • Pneumonia in children - complications

Pneumonia in children - description

Pneumonia in children means that the lung and thoracic respiratory tracts become inflamed. Responsible for the disease is usually an infection with pathogens such as bacteria, viruses or fungi. The symptoms of pneumonia in toddlers are similar to those of adults. Those affected suffer from fever and cough and feel tired and tired. Often children also have symptoms such as chills or body aches, which are rare in adults.

Children are particularly at risk for pneumonia. Since infants in particular do not yet have their own hygiene awareness, pathogens such as bacteria or viruses are quickly transmitted from one child to another. This usually happens by coughing or sneezing (droplet infection). In particular, in community facilities such as schools, kindergartens or homes it comes quickly to mutual infection. In addition, children's immune systems are often not as effective as those of adults. Children therefore have more frequent infections and are therefore more at risk of serious illnesses such as pneumonia.

Pneumonia in infants and children is the most common childhood respiratory disease. It is even one of the most common causes of death in childhood worldwide. Around 1.8 million children worldwide die of pneumonia every year. In Germany, the number of deaths is comparatively low, due on the one hand to good medical care and on the other hand to the possibility of vaccination against the most common pathogens.

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Causes of pneumonia in children

Childhood pneumonia may occur as a result of another respiratory disease (such as asthma) or may be a complication of other diseases (for example, cystic fibrosis). Less commonly, pneumonia occurs in children without pre-existing conditions or risk factors. Often, bacteria or other pathogens (viruses, fungi) are the cause of pneumonia in children. Other causes such as respiratory irritating gases or disorders of the immune system are rarely the cause of pneumonia in children.

Bacterial pneumonia in children

As with adults, most bacteria in children are responsible for pneumonia. Baby and toddler are also susceptible to more common pathogens that older children and adults would not contract. Typical germs of pneumonia in children are pneumococcus, streptococcus agalactiae, hemophilus influenzae, and Escherichia coli. The causative agents of so-called atypical pneumonia, such as chlamydia or mycoplasma, are more likely to occur in school-age children.

Symptoms such as dyspnea, fever, and cough are more pronounced in children with bacterial pneumonia than with pneumonia caused by the virus. Often, bacterial pneumonia occurs after virus-induced pneumonia. Doctors then speak of a so-called superinfection.

Viral pneumonia in children

Viral pneumonia in infants is caused, for example, by respiratory syncytial virus (RS virus), adenovirus or influenza virus (influenza virus). Especially infants can develop severe RS virus pneumonia.

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