Chronic Pneumonia at 10x Magnification
Pneumonia is characterized by inflammation of the lungs and may be caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and other agents, as well as exposure to certain irritants and irradiation. Oftentimes the disease follows a bout of the flu or a common cold, and the symptoms of pneumonia are frequently similar to those of these less severe illnesses, which can make it difficult for many individuals to realize that something more serious is wrong. Patients with bacterial or viral pneumonia typically experience a cough that will not go away and may have difficulty breathing, fever, chest pain, fatigue, muscle pain, and chills. When the disease is caused by mycoplasma or fungi, however, few symptoms are usually present, and those that are tend to occur in relatively mild forms.