Glossary

pneumonia

Pneumonia (“pneu” is of Greek origin and means “breeze”) is the medical term for an inflammation of the lung. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi that pass through the upper airways to get into the lung. It is a disease that more commonly affects old and very young people and other persons with a weak immune system. The symptoms include coughing up sputum, breathlessness, chest pain and fever. Breathing is rapid and can be accompanied by crackling or rattling noises.