Symptoms of Klebsiella Pneumonia

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Klebsiella is a bacteria that lives in the intestinal tract in about 40 percent of all people. This bacteria does have the ability to cause symptoms within the digestive tract, though these tend to be "opportunistic" infections. Although Klebsiella can also infect the urinary tract, the most serious site of infection is the lungs, where it can cause a rapidly evolving and damaging form of pneumonia.

Onset of Symptoms

One thing that distinguishes pneumonia caused by the Klebsiella bacteria is how rapidly the disease progresses. Klebsiella pneumonia causes rapid destruction of tissue within the lungs, and, as a result, the symptoms appear quickly. The severity of the pneumonia is much greater than normal bacterial pneumonia.

Initial symptoms

The initial symptoms for Klebsiella pneumonia is a sudden high fever (greater than 103 degrees Farenheit) coupled with dizziness and chills. Most patients also cough up a distinctive sputum from the lungs. This sputum is thick and tinged with blood. It is also viscous and abundant.

Advanced Symptoms

Klebsiella pneumonia, if not treated, can quickly form abscesses, which are small pockets of dead tissue filled with bacteria. This bacteria is also able to punch holes in the lining of the lungs and can cause them to stick to the connective tissue around the lungs. People with Klebsiella pneumonia can also suffer from collapsed lungs.

Symptoms of Spread

Klebsiella pneumonia can also spread to the upper respiratory tract, especially the nose. In these cases, they can cause a foul-smelling discharge to be emitted from the nose, as well as severe congestion.

Symptoms of Hospital Acquired Versus Community Acquired Infections

Klebsiella pneumonia infections that occur within a hospital tend to affect the bronchioles (the tubes that move air to and from the lungs) and have a much more gradual onset of symptoms as well as the addition of wheezing. Community-acquired infections (those that are from a non-medical origin) tend to have infections within the lung tissue itself; the predominant symptom is a severe cough.

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