Pneumonia is an awful lung infection caused by pneumonia germs. Pneumonia can
Make it hard to breathe.
Antibiotics are a medication that kills germs, and that includes pneumonia germs, the little creatures that move into your lungs and make you sick.
So, if your doctor prescribes antibiotics because you feel fluey, or you have a cough or a runny nose, take ‘em! Kill those germs!
A note about antibiotics -- An important thing about antibiotics is that the best way to use them is early in an infection, when there are only a few pneumonia germs—they’re easier to kill then. We have a saying about how to use antibiotics to kill germs: "Kill 'em early. Kill 'em all."
How Pneumonia Happens
People with congestive heart failure collect water.
The most dangerous place they collect water is in the lungs. That’s because water in the lungs can invite pneumonia. For pneumonia germs, water in the lungs is like a motel “VACANCY” sign:
First, Your body mounts a counter-attack against the pneumonia germs by sending thick, infection-fighting phlegm to your lungs (and your throat and nose). That’s good, because you need to fight the germs. But it’s also bad, because your lungs get filled with thick, gunky phlegm (yecch). If you thought that water blocked oxygen, trust us, thick, gunky phlegm is worse—now your chest hurts, you have a cough, and you’re even more short of breath (Uh Oh).
Second, those germs start doing what they do best the moment they move in—They start making germ babies! You might have 100 pneumonia germs on day one (and not feel so sick)—and 100,000,000 pneumonia germs on day four.
Now you’ve got a terrible wracking cough, your chest hurts every time your breathe, you’ve got a temperature of 102, and you just wish all this would go away.
You’re so sick you have to go to the hospital.
Which leaves you with two important questions —
Why didn’t I call the doctor 4 days ago?
What do I do now?