going deeper

Just a cold or pneumonia?

By: Spencer
Spencer's picture

It’s that time of year when people are coughing and blowing their nose – cold and flu season. We all know those people who try to tough out a cold, but sometimes a cold can turn into a more serious respiratory illness like pneumonia.


 Pneumonia is a lung infection that happens when the air sacs in the lungs fill up with fluid or puss, making it hard to breath in enough air. It can be caused by either a virus or bacteria.


 Anyone can get pneumonia but those with weak or compromised immune systems are most at-risk, including:

  • The elderly

  • Young children

  • People who have a cold or the flu

  • Those with immune disorders

  • Smokers

 A cold can be a real nuisance but usually symptoms are mild and begin to clear up in 3-5 days with proper rest and fluids. You might experience:

  • Sore throat

  • Sneezing

  • Stuffy nose

  • Cough


Signs you may have pneumonia or another serious respiratory infection, like bronchitis.

  • Symptoms do not clear up within 10 days and get worse

  • Fever of 102 or higher

  • Chills and sweats

  • Severe coughing and stuffy nose

  • Difficulty catching your breath

  • Chest pain that worsens when you take a deep breath or cough

  • Coughing up pus or blood


If you have these symptoms see your doctor immediately. If you or a loved one is having difficulty breathing, call 911.


Try these tips to stay health this cold and flu season:

  • Wash your hands often

  • Carry hand sanitizer on-the-go

  • Get your flu vaccine and vaccinate children 6 months and older

  • Do not smoke

  • Get seven to nine hours of sleep per night


Each Wednesday at 7:40 am, Jerry & Blanca speak with local health professional, Rose Melendez, who offers helpful tips for your health and well-being, brought to you by our friends at Adventist HealthCareFind more Health Tips here.


Health Minute Pneumonia.wav