The key difference between viral pneumonia and bacterial pneumonia is that viral pneumonia is a more prevalent type of pneumonia caused by viruses while bacterial pneumonia is a less prevalent type of pneumonia caused by bacteria.
Pneumonia is an infection that normally inflames the alveoli (air sacs) in one or both lungs. The alveoli may fill with fluid or purulent material, causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty in breathing. A variety of organisms can cause pneumonia, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Viral pneumonia and bacterial pneumonia are two types of pneumonia caused by two different organisms.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Viral Pneumonia
3. What is Bacterial Pneumonia
4. Similarities – Viral Pneumonia vs Bacterial Pneumonia
5. Viral Pneumonia vs Bacterial Pneumonia in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Viral Pneumonia vs Bacterial Pneumonia
What is Viral Pneumonia?
Viral pneumonia is a type of pneumonia caused by viruses. They are usually more prevalent than other types of pneumonia and account for between 13 % and 50 % of cases. In the United States, about 30 % of pneumonia are caused by viruses.
The symptoms of viral pneumonia include dry cough, fever, chills, shortness of breath, pain in the chest when coughing or breathing, and rapid breathing. Viruses that can lead to pneumonia include influenza (influenza A and influenza B), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), rhinovirus, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, herpes simplex virus, measles virus, and chickenpox virus. Pneumonia-causing viruses travel through the air in droplets of fluid after someone sneezes or coughs. These fluids can get into the body of another person through the nose or mouth. People can also get viral pneumonia after touching a virus-covered doorknob or keyboard and then touching the mouth or nose.
Viral pneumonia can be diagnosed through physical examinations, blood tests, X-rays, and sending a camera down the throat to check the airways. Furthermore, treatment options include antiviral medications such as oseltamivir, zanamivir, or peramivir for influenza, ribavirin for RSV virus, getting plenty of rest, over-the-counter medicines to fight against fever and pain, and drinking plenty of fluids. In severe cases, treatment options include breathing assistance and flu vaccination.
What is Bacterial Pneumonia?
Bacterial pneumonia is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria. Bacterial pneumonia accounts for between 8 % to 13 % of all pneumonia cases. The most common cause of bacterial pneumonia is Strreptococcus pneumoniae. But other bacteria can cause it as well. People have a higher risk of getting bacterial pneumonia if they are older than 65, have conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart diseases, are recovering from surgery, don’t eat vitamins and minerals, have a weakened immune system, smoke, drink too much alcohol, and have viral pneumonia. The symptoms of bacterial pneumonia include high fever, coughing out greenish, yellow, or bloody mucus, chills, inability to breathe when moving around, feeling tired, low appetite, sharp stabby chest pain while taking a deep breath, sweating a lot, fast breathing and heartbeat, lips and fingernails turning blue, and confusion especially when older.
Bacterial pneumonia can be diagnosed through physical examination, pulse oximetry, blood tests, sputum test, X-ray, and CT-scan. Furthermore, treatments for bacterial pneumonia include taking vaccination shots (prevnar 13 and pneumovax), taking antibiotics, getting lots of rest, drinking plenty of fluids, using a humidifier or taking a warm bath, stopping smoking, staying at home until the fever goes down, oxygen treatment, IV fluids, and medications and treatment to help loosen up the gunk.
What are the Similarities Between Viral Pneumonia and Bacterial Pneumonia?
- Viral pneumonia and bacterial pneumonia are two types of pneumonia caused by two different organisms.
- Viral pneumonia and bacterial pneumonia may have similar symptoms.
- Both pneumonia types may be diagnosed through physical examination, blood tests, and imaging tests.
- They can be treated with specific medications and prevented by vaccination.
What is the Difference Between Viral Pneumonia and Bacterial Pneumonia?
Viral pneumonia is a type of more prevalent pneumonia caused by viruses, while bacterial pneumonia is a type of less prevalent pneumonia caused by bacteria. This is the key difference between viral pneumonia and bacterial pneumonia. Furthermore, viral pneumonia accounts for between 13 % and 50 % of cases of pneumonia, while bacterial pneumonia accounts for between 8 % to 13 % of cases of pneumonia.
The following table summarizes the difference between viral pneumonia and bacterial pneumonia.
Summary – Viral Pneumonia vs Bacterial Pneumonia
Viral pneumonia and bacterial pneumonia are two types of pneumonia caused by two different organisms. Viral pneumonia is caused by viruses, and they are more prevalent, while bacterial pneumonia is caused by bacteria and they are less prevalent. This summarizes the difference between viral pneumonia and bacterial pneumonia.
1. Metcalf, Eric. “Viral Pneumonia: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment.” WebMD.
2. Chase, Cynthia. “Bacterial Pneumonia: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 29 Sept. 2018.
1. “Influenza pneumonia” By Atlas of Pulmonary Pathology (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr
2. “Streptococcus pneumoniae – A causative bacteria of meningitis” By Scientific Animations (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia