White Lung Pneumonia: Here’s What Experts Want You to Know


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Introduction

Before getting concerned about the white lung pneumonia, you should be well-informed about the condition. In this blog, we will learn about “what is white lung pneumonia”? But, you might be wondering about the term “white lung”?

Let’s start by understanding the term “white lung”. 

White lung or white lung syndrome is nothing but a non-medical term used by the common people to describe the white patches appearing on the lungs on X-rays. These white patches can be caused by various reasons such as fluid accumulation, scarring or inflammation in the lungs, says by Dr. Danial S. Ganjian.

Let’s move on and understand white pneumonia. 

White pneumonia is not a specific type of pneumonia. It is simply named to a condition when white patches appear on the chest. The spots are black or dark in color which seems white in X-rays. As discussed above, it is caused by various factors such as fluid accumulation in the lungs, inflammation or scarring in the lungs. In more simple terms, if someone says having “white pneumonia” it means the pneumonia is diagnosed as whitish appearance in the X-rays. It is usually not a life threatening condition, but could be serious for kids and elderly people or having weak immune systems. 

Recent Outbreaks of White Lung Pneumonia in Ohio and China

If you are keeping yourself up to date with the health news, you may also have heard about the recent outbreaks of white lung pneumonia in Ohio in August 2023. These outbreaks have drawn attention due to the increased number of individuals affected and the urgency to understand and address the situation. In Ohio, there has been a surge in cases, causing health authorities to actively monitor and respond to the situation. Similarly, China has experienced an outbreak, leading to efforts to contain and manage the spread of white lung pneumonia.

By staying informed and actively participating in preventive measures, individuals can contribute to the collective effort to overcome these outbreaks and protect the well-being of their communities.

In this blog, we will help you understand the white lung pneumonia outbreak in Ohio, what is white lung pneumonia is and how you can prevent yourself from further. 

How Would You Understand If You Have White Lung Pneumonia? 

You can’t self diagnose white pneumonia on your own. It can only be diagnosed by an experienced doctor through X-ray. You might suspect due to the symptoms such as 

  • Cough

  • Cold

  • Fever with chills

  • Loss of appetite

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Chest pain

  • Nausea 

  • Vomiting 

  • Fatigue

  • Dizziness

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should seek medical attention from a pulmonologist. The doctor will consider your symptoms, may ask about your medical history, lifestyle or diet to make a proper diagnosis and plan treatment. It is important to note that self diagnosis or relying on informal terms like “white pneumonia” could be dangerous for your health. 

A Burning Question: Are White Lung Pneumonia Contagious?

White lung pneumonia can be caused by bacterial, viral or fungal infections. Children are more susceptible to getting pneumonia in fall and winter. Bacterial or viral pneumonia are contagious in nature and may spread through cough, sneezing or sharing personal items with the infected person. Whereas, fungal pneumonia is non-contagious. 

How White Lung Pneumonia is Treated?

White lung pneumonia or pneumonia is almost the same and the treatment totally depends on the type of pneumonia and the severity of the condition. 

Bacterial pneumonia: Commonly treated with antibiotics to fight bacterial infection.

Viral pneumonia: Usually doesn’t require specific treatment, but antiviral medications may be prescribed for influenza-related cases.

Fungal pneumonia: Treated with antifungal medications to combat fungal pneumonia.

Over-the-counter medications can help manage symptoms like cough, fever, and body aches. Rest and staying hydrated are crucial, as fluids help thin phlegm, making it easier to cough up.

An affected person may require hospitalization if:

In the hospital, treatment may include intravenous antibiotics, fluids, and supplemental oxygen. Following prescribed treatments and taking ample rest aids recovery from pneumonia.

What if Pneumonia is Left Untreated?

According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), untreated pneumonia may lead to various potential complications such as:

  • Empyema: Infection in the space around lungs and chest.

  • Pericarditis: Swelling of the sac around the heart.

  • Endobronchial obstruction: Blockage in the airway affecting lung air intake.

  • Atelectasis: Full or partial collapse of a lung or its portion.

  • Lung abscess: Pus collection in the lungs, rare but serious in certain health conditions or alcohol misuse history.

Other pneumonia complications:

  • Pleurisy: Inflammation of membranes between lungs and ribs, potentially leading to breathing problems.

  • Septicemia: Blood infection originating elsewhere.

  • Sepsis: Life-threatening immune response to septicemia, causing organ failure and, in severe cases, death.

Prevention is the Most Effective Medicine for Pneumonia

Prevention is always better than cure. To minimize the risk of pneumonia, we have compiled the list of preventive measures given by the American Lung Association. It includes:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. 

  • Take a balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids. Water is always best. 

  • Avoid secondhand smoke and it is better to quit smoking. 

  • Always make sure to cover your mouth with cloth, elbow while coughing or sneezing. 

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle, do exercise and take proper sleep. 

  • Receive a yearly flu vaccine to lower the risk of flu-related pneumonia.

In a Nutshell

Understanding white lung syndrome, white lung pneumonia is important after recent outbreaks in Ohio and China. The term white lung is nothing but an X-ray appearance. It is important to keep an eye on your symptoms and seek medical attention on time which includes vaccination, hygiene, lifestyle changes and OTC medicines etc. Your health matters – stay informed and stay well!



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