Omicron can spark lung swelling – the 14 signs of pneumonia you must never ignore

Omicron can spark lung swelling – the 14 signs of pneumonia you must never ignore

January 4, 2022

OMICRON can cause pneumonia to develop in rare cases, making the lungs swell.

Catching Covid sometimes leaves a few people very unwell, with complications emerging as they fight the virus.

One of these rare developments which can be sparked by any viral infection, is pneumonia – which inflames the tissue in your lungs.

A string of hugely positive studies show Omicron is milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.

So, this means it is unlikely you would end up unwell enough to develop pneumonia – but it's good to know the signs.

Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.

The Sun's Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits' arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.

Pneumonia refers to a swelling of the tissue in one or both of your lungs.

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When you have pneumonia, the alveoli – tiny air sacs where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged – fill with fluid.

It affects around eight in 1,000 adults a year, and it's more common in autumn and winter.

While it can severely affect people of any age, it's more likely and can be more serious among the young or elderly.

While pneumonia symptoms are similar to other illnesses, such as a chest infection – they can develop in as fast as 24 hours.

The infection's development can also depend on the age of the sufferer.

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Atypical or walking pneumonia is prevalent among school-age children. They may not feel ill enough to demand a day off school, but they could be tired, suffering from headaches, a minor fever or a dry cough.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae is responsible for up to 20 per cent of adult pneumonia cases.

While it is rare, if you are struggling to shake your Omicron infection and feeling it's getting worse, pay attention to if you have some of the listed symptoms below.

If you do, don't worry but call for help and an expert can assess you quickly.

People who develop pneumonia often make a full recovery without any extra complications.

Common symptoms include a dry or phlegm-y cough – and breathing may be rapid and shallow, you may feel breathless all the time, and experience chest pain.

Fever, sweating and shivering, loss of appetite and a rapid heartbeat are all also symptoms.

Less common symptoms include coughing up blood, headaches, tiredness, feeling or being sick, wheezing, muscle pain and confusion.

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