Viral Pneumonia (Viral Pulmonary Infection,viral Infectious Pneumonia)

Viral Pneumonia

What Is The Viral Pneumonia?

Pneumonia strictly refers to any inflammatory disease involving the lung parenchyma, including visceral pleura, connective tissue, airway, alveolar and blood vessel structure.

It usually presents with fever, cough, expectoration, respiratory abnormalities and other symptoms, as well as pulmonary parenchymal involvement (manifested as fixed wet rales on auscultation, or pulmonary infiltration on chest radiographs).

Pneumonia is caused by the virus reaching the lung by mistake through the upper respiratory tract or by the downward spread of upper respiratory tract virus infection. It is called viral pneumonia.


What Is The Cause Of Viral Pneumonia?

Viral pneumonia occurs mostly in winter and spring and can be transmitted through respiratory airborne (droplets, droplet nuclei/aerosols, dust) and direct contact transmission. Moreover, transmission is generally faster and more extensive.

Common pathogenic viruses include influenza A virus, influenza B virus, adenovirus, parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus and coronavirus. Patients may be infected with one or more of the above viruses, and may develop secondary bacterial infections (e.g., Staphylococcus aureus infection) and fungal infections (more commonly in patients with suppressed immune systems).

Patients with an suppressed immune system are susceptible to herpes virus and measles virus pneumonia.

Bone marrow and organ transplant recipients are susceptible to herpes virus and cytomegalovirus pneumonia.

Which crowd is viral pneumonia common in?

Viral pneumonia can occur in individuals with normal or suppressed immune function, but it has a higher incidence in the pediatric population than in adults and in infants and young children than in older children.

Infants with low immunity, the elderly, people with pre-existing chronic cardiopulmonary diseases or pregnant women infected with viral pneumonia usually have a severe condition, and the severe one even leads to death.


What Symptom Does Viral Pneumonia Have?

Most patients with viral pneumonia usually have mild clinical symptoms (similar to those of mycoplasma pneumonia and sometimes indistinguishable), but a few patients may have more severe symptoms.

Most patients have an acute onset with prominent systemic symptoms such as fever, headache, systemic soreness and fatigue. They often present with respiratory symptoms such as cough, cough of white mucus and sore throat and faster breathing before the acute flu symptoms resolve.

A small number of patients (mostly children or the elderly) will develop severe pneumonia, which manifests as dyspnea, cyanosis, lethargy, and malaise, and even develops complications such as shock, heart failure, respiratory failure, and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Viral pneumonia may not have significant chest signs and may present with superficial respiratory rate, increased heart rate, cyanosis, dry lungs, wet rales, etc.


How Should Viral Pneumonia Be Diagnosed?

The diagnosis was based on the patient's history of close contact with the patient with respiratory tract infection, clinical symptoms, signs and radiographic changes, and the exclusion of pneumonia caused by other pathogens.

A definite diagnosis depends on etiological examinations, including viral isolation, serological examinations and the detection of viral antigens.


How To Prevent Viral Pneumonia?

For patients with viral pneumonia, try to use isolation treatment, avoid going out before recovery.

Susceptible people should pay attention to protection, especially in winter and spring season or viral pneumonia epidemic, go out should wear masks, avoid to stay in public places with many people.

Vaccinate against chickenpox, measles and other influenza viruses on time.

Pay attention to exercise at ordinary times, ensure the body daily intake of sufficient nutrition, improve the body's resistance.


How To Treat Viral Pneumonia?

General Treatment

  1. During bed rest, patients were given enough vitamins and protein, more water and a small amount of food for many times, and intravenous infusion was adopted as appropriate to maintain the water and electrolyte balance of the patients.
  2. Fenestration ventilation on time, in order to maintain air circulation, pay attention to the isolation and disinfection, prevent cross infection.
  3. When necessary, oxygen can be inhaled to ensure normal oxygen concentration, and timely clean up the oral and nasopharyngeal secretions to maintain respiratory tract patency.


1. Antiviral Drugs

  • Ribavirin: has a wide range of antiviral effects, such as influenza virus, influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, etc.
  • Acyclovir: It has the characteristics of strong drug effect and quick action. It is used to treat herpes virus and varicella virus infection. The patients with low immunity should be applied as soon as possible.
  • Ganciclovir: Inhibits viral DNA synthesis and is used in the treatment of cytomegalovirus infection.
  • Oseltamivir: Low resistance rate, good effect on influenza A and B virus.
  • Vidarabine: It has a wide antiviral range and is commonly used for the treatment of herpes virus and varicella virus infection secondary to immunodeficiency patients.
  • Amantadine: used to prevent viruses from entering the body and to bring down fever; used to treat influenza infections.

2. Glucocorticoid

  • The efficacy of viral pneumonia is controversial and may result in increased mortality, prolonged mechanical ventilation and hospitalization, and an increased incidence of double infection, and is therefore not recommended for routine use.

3. Other Drugs

  • Patients with high fever can undergo physical cooling or symptomatic treatment with appropriate use of antipyretic drugs.
  • Patients with thick sputum can be treated with expectorant drugs such as ambroxol and acetylcysteine.
  • Patients with asthma may inhale terbutaline, ipratropium bromide, and others to improve symptoms of airway obstruction.
  • Patients with viral pneumonia who have combined bacterial or fungal infections can be treated with related antibacterial agents.

What Is The Prognosis Of Viral Pneumonia?

Most patients with viral pneumonia are milder and can spontaneously improve within 1–3 weeks with a good prognosis.

A small number of patients with viral pneumonia (mostly immunocompromised, young or elderly patients) have severe symptoms that require hospitalization, and most recover completely.

A few patients with severe underlying diseases have a poor prognosis and may cause irreversible lung injury or even secondary multiple organ failure, or even death in severe cases.

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