What Is Bronchopneumonia?

bronchopneumonia Credit: J.L. Carson/Custom Medical Stock Photo/Getty Images

Bronchopneumonia is a type of pneumonia that affects both lungs and the bronchi, according to Healthline. Caused by bacteria, fungi or a virus infecting the lungs, bronchopneumonia ranges from mild to severe, with viral bronchopneumonia typically being the mildest. People over 65 or under 2 or living with HIV, chronic heart disease, diabetes, lung disease or a weakened immune system are at an increased risk of developing bronchopneumonia.

According to Healthline, the most severe cases of bronchopneumonia are typically acquired in a hospital setting and are more resistant to antibiotics than other community-acquired types of bronchopneumonia. Most viral cases of bronchopneumonia are caused by the same viruses that cause cold and flu, while bacterial bronchopneumonia is contracted by daily contact with bacteria in the environment. Bacterial bronchopneumonia is most often caused by the Streptococcus bacterium.

Symptoms of bronchopneumonia include fever, coughing up mucus, shortness of breath, chest pain, chills, sweating, headaches and muscle aches, according to Healthline. It is important to visit a doctor if these conditions occur. A doctor performs a physical examination and listens to the lungs using a stethoscope. He then diagnoses bronchopneumonia based on this exam or orders additional testing, such as a complete blood count, chest X-ray or CT scan, to confirm a diagnosis.